Neighborhood Businesses Remember Fire Victim Henry

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  "He touched a lot of people. He was always in a good mood, always smiling, always happy. Just a real nice guy to be around."

Businesses near the Eddy Apartment Building have lost a regular to a tragic fire that took the life of a very special man: Henry.

Christina Drown, assistant manager at O'Donnell Ace Hardware, described Henry's routine. "He would stop at the Waveland Café, eat there. When the New City Market was up on the corner, he'd stop and get a banana there, come in, get his popcorn. He knew everybody's name, would always say hi. It was really cool. You'd always see him walking up and down the street."

Drown says Henry was friendly not only to the employees, but also the customers. "He'd always make sure to say hi to every single person that was here, which was really cool."

Over at Universal Barbershop, barber Travi Ford said Henry was a staple in the neighborhood. "Every day we used to see him walk right by the barbershop, through the window, you know, and everyone would say, 'hey, there goes Henry,' you know, and we were just used to it."

"All the businesses knew who he was, always helped him out, you know, he never really took advantage of nothing, you know, so everybody was always willing to help him out," said Ford.

He sometimes looked disheveled and wore torn clothing, but if you judged him by his outward appearance, you would miss out on the fact that on the inside he had a heart of gold.

"You never want to judge a book by its cover because he don't act like the way he looked," said Ford. "You get to talk to him and see him and you're like, he was a real nice guy, you know, friendly and everything."

Drown had a similar sentiment. "Henry was one of those guys that you look at and you probably wouldn't want to approach, but that just goes to show you that looks aren't everything."