LAKEMOOR – Local businesses and community members are working together to help the Lakemoor family who lost their home in a devastating fire April 21.
Thomas Damiano and his family were in their home on Rosedale Drive when the fire alarms woke them up, and he had to jump off his balcony to escape. The home was a total loss, and damage is estimated at $185,000, according to the McHenry Township Fire Protection District.
Looking to help, Old Town Pizza & Catering Co. in McHenry is holding a fundraiser through May 12 with profits going toward support of the Damiano family in rebuilding their lives.
Damiano and his sons have been longtime employees of the McHenry pizzeria, 514 S. Route 31.
“A lot of the community has stepped up and helped,” Old Town Pizza owners Brian Burkus said. “We’ve had multiple people call and ask what we need. It’s been an overwhelming support. I’m blown away that when something tragic happens like this in town, how people can come together and put a pair of shoes on a guy who doesn’t have a pair of shoes.”
Burkus also created a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the Lakemoor family. As of Friday, the fundraiser had raised more than $7,900.
In other signs of support, Tim Wille, owner of Vinyl Frontier Records, 1326 N. Riverside Drive, is holding a unique fundraiser. Wille said he’s challenging customers at arcade bowling for $5 with proceeds going to the Damianos. Wille said he has raised $500 so far.
The Dunkin’ Donuts at 4502 W. Elm St., McHenry, also will be hosting a fundraiser Thursday with a portion of the day’s sales going to the Damianos.
In addition, Dunkin’ Donuts and Bulldog Ale House in McHenry have donated $100 gift cards to the family.
No one was injured in the fire, although two pet birds never were found.
Several fire departments, the American Red Cross and the McHenry County Housing Authority came out to the scene to assist and help the family find temporary housing.
The cause of the fire still is undetermined, according to the fire district and the Lakemoor Police Department.
The Damiano family could not immediately be reached for comment.