Help sought for fire victims

Fund set up, dinner planned
By Beth A. Birmingham | Dec 31, 2013
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Wendy Pizzillo gets a hug of support on the scene of a structure fire that engulfed her home on Davis Road in Union Dec. 23. The family of six lost nearly everything. A fund has been set up at The First and a benefit supper is planned for Jan. 18.

Union — The fire that gutted a home on Davis Road in Union Dec. 23 left the family with nothing but a few photographs and memories.

Wendy and George Pizzillo and their four boys received assistance from the Red Cross, local businesses, friends and family. They are now residing in a rented four-bedroom house in Owls Head.

"They literally lost everything," said Guy Barter, Wendy's brother.

Barter and other family members and friends are organizing a benefit spaghetti supper to be held Saturday, Jan. 18, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Pioneer Grange Hall on Buzzell Hill Road (Route 235) in Union.

"We are thankful for all those who have stepped forward already," said Barter, who reported that the entire family is now battling the flu in their unfurnished house.

"They are sleeping on the floor on top of what few clothes they have," said Kathy Pizzillo, George's step-mom who resides in California.

"We are trying to raise some money on the west coast to send to them," she said, adding, "They need everything — they don't have mattresses, pillows, blankets or anything."

A fund has been set up at The First. Barter said anyone can make a donation at any First bank by noting it is for the Pizzillo Fire Fund.

The four boys range in age from 11 to 25. Clothing sizes are medium to 2x for shirts. Pant sizes needed are 16-18, 34-30, 30-32, and 28-32. Shoe sizes are 7-8, 10 and 13.

Women's clothing needed would be large pants, size 11-14 shirts, and shoes 7-8.

Donations can be dropped off at Barter's residence at 71 Killeran Lane in Cushing or by calling him at 691-6611.

Firefighters from six towns worked in ice storm conditions to extinguish the blaze Dec. 23.

An investigation by State Fire Marshalls Dec. 24 was inconclusive, according to Fire Marshall Ken Grimes.

"We are hoping to get an exact cause as time allows," said Grimes Dec. 26.

George and one of the four children were home at the time the fire broke out, said Union Fire Chief Kevin Soule. George was taken to the hospital for a preexisting heart condition.

Firefighters from Union, Washington, Warren, Appleton, Rockport and Hope responded to the mutual aid call, while Waldoboro units went to the Union Fire Station for coverage.

"The house suffered heavy heat and smoke damage," said Soule.

The cost of the supper will be $8 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under. A 50/50 raffle will be drawn as well at the dinner.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at

Comments (5)
Posted by: Bea Elaine Grant | Jan 02, 2014 20:21

Debra-they posted sizes in the article.


Posted by: Alan Benner | Jan 02, 2014 08:56

I do not know this family, however I delivered some things to them. The story is not what I did, but what I received. They were truly humbled and genuinely grateful. That was truly rewarding for me. I wsh them well.

I pray that the public will turn out in great numbers at their at their benefit supper to support them financially as they are indeed worthy!

Alan Benner

Posted by: Debra Damon | Jan 02, 2014 06:35

Posting ssizesfor everyone would help too. So every sad to lose everything. I too will go through things. God Bless they got out alive.

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Jan 01, 2014 10:00

Has anyone set up a Go Fund Me account for this family?

Posted by: Chris Merritt | Jan 01, 2014 07:40

I don't know this family, but I can only imagine what it would feel like to lose everything.  Especially around the holidays.  If people want to donate but can't get items to them, I am willing to pick up locally and bring items to the family.  You can email Chris at  My wife and I will be going through our stuff and making a donation.  It's a new year, we feel as though we should help this family start off on a positive note.  If you can donate something but can't get it to the family, send me an email we will help.


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Staff Profile

Beth Birmingham
Staff Reporter
594-4401 ext. 125
Email Me

Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.

Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.

Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.

Aside from photography, Beth enjoys running and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 13.

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