Community raises more than $30K for injured Lexington restaurant owner

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - "Big smile everyday. He's the reason people come here," says Bangaly Savane, son of Sav's Grill owner.

Mamadou Savane is the owner of Sav's Grill on South Limestone. Last Tuesday, he was badly burned while cooking one of the restaurant's most popular sauces.

"He spilled a little bit and then slipped on what he spilled," Savane's son explains. "Because he was hanging onto the pot, it poured over on him. It burned I'd say from the waist up, including his face, about 50 percent of his body."

Savane spent several days in the ICU. He's still recovering at UK Hospital.

"He is in good spirits, which of course helps the healing process, but it'll be a long road," Savane says.

Savane's son, Bangaly, has now stepped in to help run the family business. Something that Bangaly says wouldn't have been possible even a month ago.

"He started teaching me to cook a month ago and we started writing it down in recipe because that had never been done," says Savane. "Now here I am, cooking everything here."

The accident has brought a lot of changes, but one the Savane family is most surprised by is the help of the community. A week after his father's accident, Bangaly says a family friend, Chuck Creacy, set up an online fund.

"He comes in the next day and shows me his phone," says Savane. "30 minutes in, they had already raised almost $4,000. It's unbelievable. The count now in less than 24 hours is above $30,000."

An amount that Bangaly says is hard to process, but a generous gift from the community that's unforgettable.

Savane says, "We're infinitely indebted. It's unbelievable the support, the love and the caring that we're getting from everybody. It really shows that Kentucky has a true sense of commonwealth. That word hasn't meant much to me until this incident has happened."

A 'Feast of Love 4 Sav' will be held this Monday at Smiley Pete Publishing on Old Vine Street from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Admission is $5. Donations can also be made online. Just click on the link in this article.

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