Rioters destroy bar bought with Minnesota firefighter's life savings

GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $873,000 as of Sunday

Local firefighter and owner of Scores Sports Bar Korboi "KB" Balla says he has lost his dream business in the blink of an eye after it was destroyed, looted and vandalized by rioters in Minnesota.

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"The building and my business was completely burned down last night," he wrote in a GoFundMe post. "I am devastated but I know something positive will come out of all this. Stay blessed everyone!"

The small business was gearing up for its grand opening after being delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Balla put his life savings into the business, CBS reported.

"It was all coming together and when COVID-19 hit, the reality of not being able to open for a grand opening was difficult," he added. "To find out that the countless hours, hard work, late nights away from my kids, and family had all been for nothing was soul shattering. It is not the material things, more so the time that cannot be reclaimed."

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In a Facebook post on Thursday, Twyana Balla, KB's wife, posted pictures of the damage and said that looters had returned to the restaurant, attempting to steal the family's safe.

"As we were standing in the front of the restaurant, people where in the back trying to steal the safe! This just happened an hour ago in broad daylight!" she wrote. "I'm hearing people say F*** the business they have insurance WELL WE DONT AND THIS IS ALL OUT OF POCKET!!!"

She condemned the riots, saying it is not the way to get justice for George Floyd, who died earlier this week after a viral police encounter caught on video prompted protests across the country.

"Let someone come run in your home and loot for the cause then and let's see you be ok with it!" she said. "This is your neighborhood and if you have children you couldn't even walk them down the street because everything is burning or destroyed. You wouldn't understand unless you was in this position! Justice for George Floyd but not this kind of justice."

By Friday morning, she said the restaurant was reduced to "a pile of bricks" after being burned down.

"There must have been an explosion because the whole front part of the building is gone," she said in a live video.

The Balla family did not immediately return FOX Business' request for comment.

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On Friday, Balla launched a GoFundMe campaign for Scores' rebuilding efforts, which had raised more than $873,000 as of Sunday afternoon.

"I would just like to start by saying the amount of gratitude in my heart right now is outweighing the sorrow and heavy-heartedness I feel," Balla said. "As I think about my losses, I also want to extend my condolences to the Floyd family… My business can be rebuilt but his life cannot be regained."

In addition, members of the community showed up to help with cleanup efforts.

"Strangers showed up with brooms, cleaning supplies, trash bags, and food. They helped me and my family clean up in 20 minutes what would have took days. THIS IS WHAT GIVES ME HOPE!" Balla wrote. "I want to thank and shed light on the real true Minnesotans who helped many of us small business owners clean up yesterday."

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In an update Sunday, Balla called the last 48 hours an "out-of-body experience" and "emotional roller coaster" and said it would take some time to rebuild the restaurant.

"Initially, the thought was to rebuild Scores Sports Bar, but as many of you know the entire building was burned down and has been reduced to rubble as have many buildings in the surrounding area," he said. "It will take some time to work on a strategic plan for Scores Sports Bar but the goal is still the same."

Balla expressed his gratitude for all of the support the family has been given and said he is confident that the business will return stronger than ever.

"The resilience of my city and of the global and local community has re-ignited a fuel deep within," he said. "COVID-19, and a fire cannot stop what plans I have to open my dream and I cannot wait to open the doors and serve all the people who have supported us and will continue to do so."

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