Riot damages 105-year-old local furniture shop in downtown Raleigh
Posted June 1, 2020 5:20 p.m. EDT
Updated June 1, 2020 7:54 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — One of the casualties of the riots in downtown Raleigh was a longtime family-owned business that has served the community for 105 years, helping families purchase affordable furniture.
After being hit with looting and fires two nights in a row, the employees at Kimbrell's Furniture said the situation feels personal.
Kimbrell's survived the Great Depression and World War II. Now, they are trying to survive during the COVID-19 economy and local riots.
After volunteers spent Sunday afternoon cleaning up, looters once again smashed windows at Kimbrell's, pulling furniture out and setting fires.
Firsthand experience with rioters 'like a horror story'
Manager Rodney Tillery said he was there when rioters began destroying the store.
"It was basically like a horror story – chaos, glass breaking, things on fire," he said.
They are still trying to get rid of the smell of smoke after looters set a bed on fire inside the store on Saturday night.
Carol Faircloth, who has worked at the store her entire adult life, said it feels like a personal violation.
She said the vandals have not just hurt the business, they have hurt the employees and the people in the community who rely on the store as a place where they can still buy affordable furniture.
"We’ve been a good part of the community, and I don’t know why were being targeted," said Faircloth.
Now both Faircloth and Tillery wonder when this will all end.
"I just don’t know how any of this makes sense," said Faircloth.
Tillery said he tried to calm the rioters down and tell them the destruction was wrong.
"If you really want to get your message out we have to do it the right way and we have to do it together," he said.
When will it all end? No one knows, and the people at Kimbrell’s said it feels like it could go on and on.
During a downtown clean-up, hundreds of volunteers came to help repair some of the mess created during the riot. A message of hope is scrawled in chalk in front of the shattered windows of Kimbrell's: "Stay strong. Be kind. We love you."