Man Charged With Setting Business On Fire

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(Memphis) "He threatened to burn it. He told me I am gonna fix you b---. That's what he said. I am gonna burn that so and so down," says business owner Marie Waldrup as she stands in front of the burned out beauty shop she's owned for 25 years.

"All of that up in the top, it's gone. The ceiling is gone. I have got dryers in there cost $700 a piece. They are gone. Everything I worked for is gone," she says.

The International Hair Gallery at 352 Walker went up in flames around 3 a.m. Saturday.

Police  say 57-year-old Thomas Ross intentionally started the fire on the front porch.

Witnesses told police they saw Ross at the fire scene and heard him say "Burn Baby Burn."

Ross was arrested for arson.

His arrest record shows he has been locked up many times before  for  public intoxication, theft, burglary, and panhandling.

Marie Waldrup allowed Ross to help out around the salon, and even live at the business.

But she says he started stealing and she had him arrested.

Then came the threats.

"He went to jail that Saturday night when he threatened me and Gloria. They let him out that Monday. He took a golf club, came in the shop to beat me with it. I called police that Tuesday, they couldn't find him," said Waldrup.
They found him Saturday morning, when her business went up in flames.  

"I think he needs to serve time and stay there til the day he dies, because he took my life away from me. This was my life," says Waldrup.

Marie Waldrup is now looking for a place to reopen her business and Thomas Ross could be looking at some serious time behind bars.