Jan 05 2018

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Kneading our support: Community fund raiser for destroyed bakery scheduled Friday

By Pete Banda
Managing Editor

While most were bundled up to avoid the freezing temperatures this past New Year’s Eve, La Especial Bakery, a San Benito staple, was dealing with a crushing blow to their historic business. SBPD officers reportedly responded to a fire on the night of December 30. According to police, the 78-year-old bakery was in flames when officers arrived on the scene. The owner of the bakery, Enrique Ornelas, was found inside trying to extinguish the fire. Both the officer and Ornelas were transported to the hospital where they were treated for smoke inhalation.

While nobody was injured in the fire, the legendary bakery suffered what seem to be irreparable damages. Now, the community has taken it upon themselves to help out one of the longest running businesses in the history of the City.

“I think most of the older generation grew up with (La Especial) as a big part of our childhood,” said 47-year-old Robert Sanchez. “When I heard about what happened, I started thinking about ways I could help… It felt good to see others felt the same way.”

There have been several fund raising campaigns launched since news of the fire broke, including efforts from family members as well as concerned citizens. One of the fundraisers, a chicken plate sale, was scheduled within the first two days of the fire and is scheduled for Friday afternoon. According to a post on Facebook, the plates will be distrubuted in the KC Hall parking lot on Friday afternoon from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Plates will be sold for $5.

A GoFundMe page created for family members has collected over $700. A seperate GoFundMe page, set up by Ornelas’ granddaughter April, has collected nearly $2,000 in the last week alone.

“The support is very heartwarming,” said April Ornelas. “Mygrandparents didn’t realize how many people they’ve helped over the years until this incident… My Grandfather had people visiting him in the hospital letting him know that they’re going to do labor work on the bakery till they repair everything, free of charge. My Grandfather cried when they told him this… Everything he has done for the community is being returned to him and means so much.”

April Ornelas added that the entire back of the building would have to be knocked down due to contamination. They will ahve to wait on City approval to rebuild, but the family is hoping to continue the business as soon as posible. Despite the building being labeled as a historical site, family members noted the uilding was too old to be insured.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.sbnewspaper.com/2018/01/05/kneading-our-support-community-fund-raiser-for-destroyed-bakery-scheduled-friday/

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