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New York

Community raises $45,000 for single mom home, business lost in fire

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Per week in the past, the unthinkable occurred for a businesswoman and single mom of two. After working for years to open her personal bakery, Chanelle Kimber’s goals had been destroyed inside minutes when a fire broke out at her new bakery in Rochester, destroying each the store and her house.

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Kimber’s dream of opening her personal bakery started whereas working at Wegmans years in the past. Since then, she’s labored at many various bakeries in Rochester. After years of sacrifice and dedication, she lastly determined to open her personal store.

“This has been a lifetime worth of saving and everything else. Once I finally knew that I wanted to do my own business, it probably took me about seven, eight years to get that all together,” Kimber mentioned. “I’m a single mom of two, so extra money is not something that was easy or comes by, but we made a lot of sacrifices.”

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In June of 2021, Kimber lastly opened up Bougie Cookie Boutique on Culver Road. She served all the things from macarons to embellished cutout cookies, however roughly six months later, Kimber’s “dream come true” was destroyed. 

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On December 8, Kimber had boxed up her final order round 6 p.m. Her grandmother had simply been recognized with stage 4 pancreatic most cancers, so Kimber and her cousin acquired collectively in Kimber’s house to speak.

Around 9:45 p.m., the 2 began seeing smoke pouring by the vent. “Immediately I was just thinking, ‘Oh, what’s going on?’ and I walk to pull the vent cover off and when I pulled the vent cover off, smoke just kind of like flew everywhere and then you could see like flames coming from like the basement area,” Kimber recalled. 

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Kimber mentioned she panicked and grabbed buckets, making journey after journey to the sink, making an attempt to do away with the flames. “I think it was after probably about 10 bucket trips to the sink, I realized that there was no—you know. It was well beyond that,” Kimber mentioned.

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Her new bakery and residential had been destroyed inside minutes. Kimber mentioned she wasn’t anticipating the fire to take action a lot harm and was “in shock” when she noticed what was left behind. “I just dropped to my knees and I just started screaming and crying,” she mentioned. “I just couldn’t believe it.”

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Thankfully, Kimber’s two younger daughters (8- and 3-years-old) had been OK. Her youngest noticed a physician for smoke inhalation and is now taking steroids to assist her get well. “It was really scary and it happened so quick,” Kimber mentioned. “If I could just reiterate to anybody, when we see it in the movies and you think like, ‘Oh, why don’t you just grab this fire extinguisher? Grab water!’ You don’t understand how fast fire moves. Within like 60 seconds, it felt like it was just complete flames.”

The reason for the fire remains to be below investigation, however Kimber now hopes her story encourages anybody in a fire to get out instantly. “Let the professionals handle it, because any longer than that—I could have been trapped in there. Anything could have happened,” she mentioned.

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After seeing Kimber’s bakery and residential destroyed, the Rochester group stepped as much as assist. A GoFundMe has already raised closed to $45,000 for the household of three, one thing that Kimber mentioned “could bring her to tears.”

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“There’s no words for that,” Kimber mentioned. “These are absolute strangers and they’re going completely out of their way to help somebody that they don’t even know.”

Kimber added that individuals have been dropping off donations, items, and even providing up providers like dental care. “We are literally living off of people’s generosity,” Kimber mentioned. “It’s heartwarming to know that Rochester really does love us and they love their people. They love their community.”

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The generosity from the group has impressed Kimber to start out planning to open one other bakery store after the vacations, one thing her 8-year-old daughter is pleased about. “It just makes me feel relieved because I understand that she worked really hard for this bakery,” mentioned Adalynn. “She’s worked at bakeries for almost her whole life. And it kind of makes me feel happy that she’s opening a new bakery!”

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