Fundraiser started after Kansas City head chef loses everything in house fire

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Known as a consistent hand in the kitchen, a Kansas City chef is now dealing with some unexpected ingredients to his day-to-day life.

A fire destroyed his home along with all of his family’s belongings, his co-workers at Ragazza Food & Wine said.

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Now customers have come together to raise some money for ‘Chef Oscar’. In just a few days they’ve already raised about $8,000 from people who’ve tasted his food, but now are learning about his family including a 4-year-old son.

“He is the most dedicated, loyal, hardworking person I’ve every worked with, and I’ve been managing people for 30 years,” Laura Norris, owner of Ragazza Food & Wine, said.

She started the GoFundMe soon after hearing about the fire that destroyed almost everything at the house.

“He had just gotten into work. He had just arrived. And he got a call from his wife saying ‘The house is on fire.’ And he’s like ‘No, there’s no way. I just left there,'” Norris said.

“Knowing him for as long as I have, and knowing how hard they’ve been saving to buy their own home – they were living in a rental property trying to save up the money. So to have this happen like right on top of the holidays have been really kind of upsetting for everyone,” she said.

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Norris said his connection to the customers is driving fundraising money, helping out someone who she describes as stoic, even now.

“Replacing basically everything. Every piece of clothing, toy. Luckily the firemen saved the fish which is beyond my imagination, but that’s awesome,” she said.

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