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Coffee Shop Owner Killed In Blast Remembered. He Set ‘The Tone For The Entire Shop.’


Kindness takes many forms, and coffee shop owner Kong Lee showed it with coffee, waffles and warmth, according to a community of patrons and friends of his Durham cafe Kaffeinate.

Lee was killed Wednesday when a gas leak near his coffee shop on Duke Street exploded, collapsing the building and injuring 25 people, leaving a city — and Kaffeinate’s beloved customers and fellow business owners — in mourning.

After Lee,  61, was identified as the sole victim in Wednesday’s explosion, Kaffeinate’s social media accounts were flooded with condolences, tributes and stories  of warmth found in the shop. Many wrote about Lee’s kindness being a source of comfort and said  they found the city they always imagined in the family business run by Lee and his two children, Diana Lee and Raymond Lee.

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