“It’s one of those nightmares you try to block out.”
On the evening of June 9, 2015, veterinarian Kenneth Kimbrough wrapped up his last appointment, said goodbye to his staff, and went home.
“It was business as usual, until the fire department called. Kimbrough Animal Hospital was in flames.”
The doctor and his wife arrived on the scene to find their clinic fully engulfed. “My biggest fear – the animals inside,” said Kimbrough. “I ran to the kennel. People were shouting, ‘It’s dangerous, don’t go in!’ But I couldn’t stop. I began taking animals out. Started administering CPR on the lawn. I had to get their lungs full of something besides smoke. I had to turn it around.”
Thirty-eight animals perished that night. Only two boxers survived. Officials deemed Kimbrough Animal Hospital a total loss.
“I shared this devastating reality with my clients and the community,” said Kimbrough. “It’s numbing.”
Rebuilding from the ashes
The next day Kimbrough called his State Farm Agent, Dave Powell.
“When I began working with Dr. Kimbrough in 2000, I looked him in the eye and said, ‘On your worst day, I’m going to be there for you.’ That day had arrived,” said Powell.
Together, the pair surveyed the scene, met with the claim specialist and reviewed his policy. While the cause of the fire was never determined, officials suspected it may have started electrically, in a back office.
“As a small business owner, it’s imperative to get back up and running,” Powell explained. “Dr. Kimbrough’s coverage included business interruption, which meant State Farm would reimburse his loss of income and also provide coverage to keep his team employed during the period of restoration. His policy also covered building contents, which allowed him to buy new equipment.”
With the help of State Farm, Kimbrough Animal Hospital began to recover. The old hospital was leveled and the rebuild began. With construction underway, Kimbrough converted his nearby pet grooming facility into a mini animal hospital. Portable buildings were moved onto the grounds so staff could help more people.
A new chapter
In March 2017, the new Kimbrough Animal Hospital opened its doors.
“Our former building was 4,400 square feet. Our new facility is 12,000 square feet,” said Kimbrough. “This allows us to serve customers, provide daycare and grooming, and help more pets. We also have a Fear Free Certified doctor on staff, which allows us better serve the physical and emotional wellbeing of animals.”
More than two years later, the clinic is back in action. And while Kimbrough says the memories of that fateful June night will never fade, he’s grateful for the support of his friends, neighbors, and the Texas community.
“Thank goodness I could do this. With Dave as my State Farm agent, I had the right coverage, my needs were met and I was guided through the process. Kimbrough Animal Hospital got a second chance.”
“I consider it an honor to be a servant leader for our small business clientele,” said Powell. “Staying in touch to ensure the coverage they have continues to meet their evolving needs ensures people are secure. Helping, it’s what we do.”
For more information about small business insurance, visit https://www.statefarm.com/small-business-solutions/insurance.
Photos courtesy of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.