EVANS CITY — More than 100 people visited the fire hall on South Jackson Street Sunday to drop off donations for the Pearce family, who lost their home to a fire on Friday.
Evans City Fire Chief Mark Adomaitis said Monday that immediately after the fire at the Pioneer Road mobile home owned by Drew Pearce, who is well-known in the community, calls began pouring in from residents to help the family.
The family includes Pearce, his wife, Cindy, and their two young children, ages 10 and 3.
Adomaitis said the family has been sifting through the rubble at their home of 18 years, and has recovered a small box of family photographs. Otherwise, Adomaitis said, the Pearces lost all their possessions in the blaze. Their Ford Explorer, which was parked next to the home, also was destroyed.
The family is staying with relatives until they can find a new home.
Adomaitis said one of the firefighters, Brett Wagner, who is a friend of Drew Pearce, asked if he could use the fire hall to collect donations. Adomaitis agreed, and residents streamed in and out for nearly two hours Sunday afternoon.
Wagner on Monday estimated the collection jar contained more than $1,000 in cash Sunday night. He said the Pearces also received about $700 in gift cards, plus more enclosed in greeting cards donors left for the family.
Adomaitis said Boy Scout parents, whose sons are scouts with the Pearce’s son, sorted the clothing brought in for the family.
Wagner said in addition to Evans City residents, donors came from Prospect, Portersville, Wexford and northern Butler County to offer what they could to the Pearces.
“The outpouring of support from people who not only know Drew and Cindy, but from those who didn’t know them, was phenomenal,” Wagner said. “I had a 6-year-old boy come in and hand me $12 for them and turn around and walk back out.”
Wagner said others called the fire station to ask how they could donate larger items, like furniture and appliances the family will need to start a new home. A Butler man paid for two month’s rental on two storage units in Zelienople for the eventual storage of the items.
Wagner said he has begun a list of those who have called offering an extra bedroom set, washing machine, television, sofa, or other items, complete with telephone numbers. When they are ready, Wagner said, the Pearces will begin calling those numbers to collect the donated items.
Adomaitis said those wanting to help can send donations or gift cards to the Evans City Volunteer Fire Department, 124 N. Jackson St., Evans City, PA 16033 in care of Drew Pearce.
Those with larger items to donate can call the fire station at 724-538-8114 and leave a message. The information from all calls will be given to the Pearces.
Adomaitis said the family could have fared much worse in the quick-moving blaze.
“The biggest thing is that nobody got hurt,” he said.