Chatham Square Neighborhood

A Diverse Fair Haven Community with Historic Homes and a Beautiful Waterfront

Why This Neighbor Of Yours, Who Lost Almost All His Stuff In The House Fire, Feels Richer Just Two Days Later?

https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/vyl4/to-wojtek-being-liberatedThis is the first line... I don't even know where to start.  And I don't know what I will actually be able to convey in this text.

There are so many facets of this story, and I am not a native English speaker, so writing is always a humbling experience for me, and I feel more humbled today than I ever was in my life.

I am your neighbor, the one from the house that burned down just three nights ago, at 185 Front St. 


 I want to THANK YOU ALL for all the moral support, help, friendship and last but not least for every single penny that you donated to help me get back on my feet. I promise you that I will.



There are several stories that can be told based on what happened that night.   I was interviewed the morning after by TV and Press.  They also interviewed the NHPD and NHFD.   It seems that mine and my housemate story got lost in the institutional PR of both Departments peppered with grandiose words of doing "all they can for the safety of citizens".
I am aware that I might be biased by what has happened to me, but at the worst - the objective truth is between my story and what permeated to the public in form of the official media reports about the fire.  The problem is that the picture of a burned house is just one freak incident away from being a picture of your house...  regardless of living 1 minute drive away from the firehouse. 

But - today is not the time for this part of my story. I promise however, to make sure that it will be told, and heard loud in the City for the benefit of all my neighbors whom I owe, today so much.

I moved to Fair Haven several years ago and became your neighbor,  some of you may know me from the CSNA meetings,  some may have read the article in the New Haven Register in which I tried to advocate ....  I have also built this website and until last year served as it's webmaster.


I need to wrap this up... as I have to deal with the reality of trying to salvage that little that I saved and get rid of the overwhelming stench of smoke clinging even to stainless steel objects recovered from the rubble... 

I want again to thank every generous neighbor.  Nobody is "rich" in our hood, but as Carlos Gallo told me when in less than 24 hours he gave me an envelope with several hundreds of dollars collected around the neighborhood - "We are a village" and we help each other. Thank you Carlos, for organizing the help for me.

Last but not least - there are no words I can describe my love to the DiFazio family, my long time friends from across the river - not only I am enjoying the safety and warmth of their home right now but also without the professional help of DiFazio Services  I wouldn't be able to sift through the burned and soaked with water remnants of my past life and save as little as was left. Garret is the best friend for the hard times a man can have. 

Facing the help and generosity of the others in time of hardship is humbling. I never had much in my life, but when one loses almost everything, one gains a new insight for what is important.  Like - today - I would feel great, if only I could have my little furry companion of 11 years with me... All the rest is replaceable and even the stuff of huge emotional value that traveled and moved with me for years is, on the second thoughts not THAT important....

The point is that - I has no idea, how many friends I have... THAT makes me feeling richer today than I felt before the fire. I KNOW that I WILL spring back, I had rebooted my life a few times already - including "accidental" immigration to America in 2001 - i had then two sailor's duffelbags and a sea-chest, and savings from several years of my sailing career.  But i didn't know anyone in this country... had no friends to lean on. Today I am in a much better situation. Thank you friends.





Wojtek 'Voytec' Wacowski

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Comment by Lee Cruz on May 10, 2014 at 8:46am

Nothing says there is community in our neighborhood like the action of residents for the good of another. This power to do good was not given to us and we not have to take it from anyone, we created it and its potential is boundless.

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