Kimbrough finds makeshift office; plans to rebuild underway
July 10, 2015 at 11:36 p.m.
A Longview animal hospital gutted by flames last month is again filled with barks and blood work, in temporary digs, while plans are being laid to rebuild.
"We're, probably, about 95 percent up and going," veterinarian Kenneth Kimbrough said Friday from the office of Gindy's Pet Express grooming shop.
The shop is where he and his staff gradually have taken up the work they performed next door at Kimbrough Animal Hospital until a June 9 fire razed the building.
"I feel like, probably in two weeks, we'll be 100 percent up and full-going," said Kimbrough, who has had his practice in Longview for 39 years.
Surgery is being conducted in temporary buildings parked behind the former Sonic Drive-In in the 1600 block of Judson Road. Next door, the burned shell of the old hospital, once appraised for taxes at $168,000, is surrounded by chain-link fencing pierced by bouquets in memory of the 38 pets that died in the fire.
Two dogs survived the overnight inferno, ruled an accident sparked by the electrical system.
Daisy and Rosco, boxers owned by Stephen and Melissa Brewer of Longview, were treated initially in the East Texas Pet Emergency Clinic on Gilmer Road, before a short trip to a Texas A&M University facility in College Station.
"And they didn't keep them but a day or two," Kimbrough said of the Aggie vet facility. "The emergency clinic (in Longview) worked with them, and they did an excellent job. ... But, they are up and running, just about off their medications and doing good."
Stephen Brewer said Daisy and Rosco, ages 5 and 9 years, recently visited the Longview firefighters who rescued them from the smoke and flames. The family pets, who required oxygen tents and other support while their owners prayed for improvement, are settling back into normal routines, he added.
"The more that we see, they are pretty much back to normal," Brewer said. "One is always into something, and the other one just pretty much sleeps all the time. They go in about every two weeks for checkups. Their lungs look clear. Their eyes are a lot better. There's no side effects from what we've seen — except both of them are still troublemakers. We can't believe we got so lucky."
Meanwhile Friday, fellow veterinarian Ken Glaze brought Kimbrough a $25,000 check raised in GoFundMe accounts Glaze set up to help Kimbrough keep his 19-member staff working.
"We were trying to keep them working and (help with) anything Dr. Kimbrough might need," said Glaze, who fielded several surgeries at Glaze Veterinary Clinic while Kimbrough got his practice back up to speed. "Everybody's jumped in and helped out, and that's the purpose of this whole thing."
Glaze's office manager, Crystal Moughon, said support had streamed in from this area and well beyond.
"We had donations from as far as Pennsylvania, Hawaii," Moughon said. "The first day was about $300, and within a week, we were up somewhere around $15,000."
Kimbrough repeated an earlier commitment to rebuild on his original site at 1613 Judson Road.
"The people that jumped in here to try to get us back on — it's just been out of this world," he said.