Help sought for fire victimsFund set up, dinner planned
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 email@example.com.
594-4401 ext. 125
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.