Monroeville community lends helping hand to fire victim's family
The Monroeville community is raising money and accepting donations for a family that recently lost its father and a lot of belongings to a house fire.
Chad Joseph DiMatteo, 41, was found dead in his Sweetleaf Drive house Feb. 2. His wife, young son and pet survived the fire.
Flames and smoke were seen coming from the second floor of a Sweetleaf Drive home when firefighters arrived about 12:30 a.m. The Allegheny County Fire Marshal's Office is investigating.
A group on social media the evening following the death organized efforts to collect donations for food and clothes — which were lost in the fire, according to Janette Beighel, the administrator of a Facebook group that has been in contact with Alfieri Funeral Home in Wilmerding. Alfieri is in charge of the funeral arrangements.
Bieghel said the response for the family in need has been incredible.
“It's humbling … it shows truly what a great community we have here,” she said. “It's such a horrid situation — we want to do anything we can to help lessen the pain. That's not something you can prepare for.”
A DiMatteo family member has launched a fundraiser on GoFundMe.com with the goal of raising $15,000 for Mary and Enzo DiMatteo, Chad's wife and 4-year-old son. The online fundraising website showed $12,046 was raised by the Friday following the fire.
Joyce DiMatteo, Chad's mother, of Apollo said the response from the community has been overwhelming.
“Within a day, they had clothing, toys and shoes in-hand,” she said. “They lost all their belongings, or it was so smoke damaged that they couldn't use it.”
Because Chad's wife does not have storage to keep accepting clothing and other household items, Joyce DiMatteo said donations should be monetary.
Chad's mother said he loved dancing, mixed martial arts and riding motorcycles. But mostly he loved being a dad, she said.
“On days off, he spent every minute with Enzo. He loved that kid,” she said tearfully.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2325.