Orlando barber who lost everything in a fire overwhelmed by community support

J. Henry is working on plans to rebuild or relocate

ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orlando area barber who lost everything in a fire last weekend said he’s overwhelmed with the support he’s received from customers, developers, residents, city leaders, county leaders and state leaders.

J Henry’s Barbershop has been a staple in Orlando’s Parramore community for more than 30 years. Investigators said Friday evening’s fire appears accidental and electrical in nature.

“God can do anything if you continue to trust and believe,” John Henry said, known to many as J. Henry.

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Thankfully no one was injured in the fire. Henry told News 6 he’s even heard from the Governor’s office.

“They told me they heard [about the fire] and they were working some things out to figure out and find out what direction they could go in to assist me with whatever I need,” Henry said.

Customers stopped by the charred building all day Monday to check on Henry and to offer their support.

“I know that he’s done a lot for the community. I know that he’s a very good person. He’s a very good man,” customer Jeremy Preston said. “A place that I know for a fact it feels like a home away from home.”

“[They] show me love and let me know they were with me, that’s what keeps you together,” Henry said.

Several organizations have reached out to support Henry including offering design and permit support.

Henry’s impact goes way beyond the barber chair.

He’s been a voice against injustice. He broke down back in April when Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd. He spoke about his frustration in general.

“People are tired of seeing police officers that do wrong and get away with murder and go back out there and continue to do it again,” Henry said.

He was also featured in a video posted on social media out last May by the Governor when barbershops and salons were allowed to reopen during the pandemic.

Henry said fire can’t burn his passion.

“Next is always better than now,” Henry said.

Henry told News 6 he’s working on plans to rebuild or relocate, but he doesn’t quite have a timeline. However, he said he does want to stay in Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood.

If you’d like to help his business recover, click here to donate to his GoFundMe.

About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.