The Williamstown Fire Company is collecting donations for fellow firefighter Donna Parisi and her family after they lost their home on Sunday, Jan. 7
At approximately 4:21 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 7, the Williamstown Fire Company responded to a house fire on Rosebud Drive. It wasn’t until they arrived on scene the crew realized the home, with reported heavy fire coming from the roof, belonged to one of their own.
The home belonged to volunteer firefighter Donna Parisi, 25, her father, stepmother, stepbrother and four dogs. Parisi’s family made it out of the home safely, but the home is completely uninhabitable due to the destruction of the roof and substantial water damage. Parisi was not home at the time of the fire.
Williamstown Fire Company Vice President Nancy Perez, a member for more than 27 years, was at the scene of the incident when the fire company arrived, joined by sister-station Cecil Fire Company and Franklinville’s Star Cross Fire Department. Additionally, Whitman Square Fire Company of Washington Township was on location on standby to provide backup for any firefighters who may have needed support while battling the blaze.
After losing all of their belongings and their family home, the Williamstown Fire Company has began collecting donations to get the Parisi-Orr family back on their feet.
“For a lot of us, this is our second family,” Perez said. “If something happens to one, it happens to us all; we’re going to be there for our family.”
According to Perez, since many third-party donation sites often request a portion of the funds raised, the nonprofit, tax-free fire company is collecting checks and gift cards on site to ensure 100 percent of the proceeds are allocated to the family.
“Donna volunteers her time at all hours of the night and day, taking time away from her family and friends when the alarm sounds to be there for total strangers for our community,” Perez said. “We have an awesome community and they have always been there for the first responders. We’re asking this time for our community to be there for one of our own, one of their own, too. They need our help now.”
As a member of the station since November 2016, Parisi said she became a firefighter to provide purpose in her life and give back to the community where she was born and raised.
“I wanted more meaning in my life; I didn’t want to be another person sitting at home watching TV,” Parisi said.
With her parents displaced to a hotel, Parisi has been living with her sister, and her stepbrother has moved in with his dad until the family can acquire a rental home through their insurance company, which is not expected to happen for another few weeks, according to Parisi. At this time, she said, gift cards for groceries, clothing and living essentials are needed most.
“It warms my heart that strangers and my family at the fire company are doing something for us,” Parisi said. “I’m at a loss of words. I’m very grateful to have them in my life and that they’re willing to take the time to help my family get back on their feet.”
Those interested in making a donation are asked to send a check or gift card to the Williamstown Fire Company at 555 S. Main St., Williamstown, 08094. All contributions should be noted for the Parisi-Orr Fund.