Friends and family of a Hartwick family that lost its home and possessions in a fire last week have taken to social media to thank the community for its support.
Four members of the Pagillo family escaped from their burning trailer mid-evening Thursday, Feb. 22, and all escaped injuries. However, the trailer, an adjacent recreational vehicle and all the family's possessions were destroyed and several pets were reportedly killed or are missing, including a cat and a bird.
The fire took place in one unit in a multi-unit trailer park on Petkewec Road in Hartwick, across from the Cooperstown Family Campground. Fire departments from Hartwick, Cooperstown, Fly Creek and Mount Vision were among the responders and the fire was contained to the one unit.
Friends and neighbors began working to help the family, with rapid results. By Saturday, a family friend, Paula Kolka-Wart, had posted in the Hartwickians page on Facebook that the community's response had been overwhelmingly successful.
"Thank you to everyone that made a donation to the family that lost everything in the fire Thursday. Our American Legion had drop offs throughout the evening and it was amazing. I am speechless at how this community comes together on short notice. The family has plenty of beautiful clothes new and old, towels, bed linens, bathroom hygiene, gift cards, beautiful winter jackets and cash donations. Even a box of treats for their dogs.
"You all are amazing," she continued. "Thank you to everyone that helped me accept donations, sort and fold. Anyone that didn't get to donate and would like to, monetary donations are being accepted by mailing directly to the Legion, P.O. BOX 53, Hartwick, NY 13348. Make checks payable to 'Cash,' and (write in the) memo 'fire family donation'."
In response to the posting, Laurie Pagillo Clow, the sister of the trailer owner, Jim Pagillo, thanked Kolka-Wart and the family's neighbors for their help.
"A heart felt thank you to all who donated and helped sort through stuff for my brother and his family," Clow said. "A special thank you to Paula Kolka-Wart for organizing the event. Thank you ... Hartwick for all coming together when one of your own is in need!"
There will also be a spaghetti dinner benefit for the family Sunday, March 14, at the Hartwick Fire Department in the hamlet of Hartwick.
Call Caren Kelsey at 607-293-7530 to donate food or funds for the dinner.