Kat Von D’s infamous tattoo shop, High Voltage Tattoo, caught fire in the early morning of Thursday, Oct. 23. It was put out less than a half hour later, but the reality television star unleashed a torrent of fury on surrounding photographers and media following the blaze, telling them that they should be ashamed of themselves for making such a public spectacle of her tragedy. She even went so far as to get physical with some of the camera crew, something she was immediately advised by authorities who were present to cease or be held legally accountable for.
The crew in question was part of the CBS2 & KCAL9 news team, and it was a woman wearing a hat that Von D personally went after. After ripping into the crew for what she felt was an extreme lack of respect regarding her personal privacy and the safety of her employees, the 32-year-old ran at the woman and attempted to knock the camera from her hands, causing the woman to lose her hat in the process. Following this, Von D took out her rage on another present camera crew, upon which time she was instructed by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to stop exhibiting such behavior immediately, a warning she failed to heed and subsequently kept her tirade of attempting to physically assault the photographers in question. This second attempt was said to be backed up by her employees of the tattoo shop, who came to her aid by surrounding her and yelling similar insults at the crew. She told them that their mothers would be in no way proud of their desperation to capitalize on someone else’s misery, something she repeatedly told them was a low move and asked if they now felt better about themselves in any way.
High Voltage Tattoo was subsequently destroyed by the blaze, with fire officials almost immediately slapping a red placard on the building that stated it was unable to be further occupied due to it having sustained significant structural damage. The sign instructs individuals to not enter the premises for any reason whatsoever, as it is extremely unsafe and may cause substantial injury or death. The loss of the building has hit many of Von D’s fans as a major heartbreak, as it became something of a landmark during the show L.A. Ink‘s run from 2007-2011, after whch it was cancelled due to both declining ratings and the star’s wish to take time to cope with various personal issues.
This is not the first time Von D has suffered a devastating fire. A few years ago her Los Angeles home was burned to the ground after some candles the tattoo artist failed to blow out ignited the residence. Her beloved cat Valentine perished in the fire, something Von D was devastated over and spent many months attempting to heal from. She was involved in a lengthy legal battle with her insurance company following the blaze, with them having accused her of starting the fire and stating that therefore they were in no way liable to pay for anything that was damaged or lost as a result. State Farm originally covered the appropriate damage costs of the fire, but soon decided that the damage was a result of Von D’s carelessness and therefore demanded that she pay them back every cent.
It remains to be seen if Kat Von D will re-open High Voltage Tattoo in a different location, or if she will even re-open at all. More information following the matter has yet to be revealed.
By Rebecca Grace