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Montessori School collects for Guerra family

  • CAROL LOLLIS<br/>The remains of Claudio Guerra's home in Northampton after a fire early Thursday morning.

    CAROL LOLLIS
    The remains of Claudio Guerra's home in Northampton after a fire early Thursday morning. Purchase photo reprints »

  • CAROL LOLLIS<br/>Claudio Guerra's talks to officials at at his  home in Northampton after a fire early Thursday morning.

    CAROL LOLLIS
    Claudio Guerra's talks to officials at at his home in Northampton after a fire early Thursday morning. Purchase photo reprints »

  • CAROL LOLLIS<br/>The remains of Claudio Guerra's home in Northampton after a fire early Thursday morning.
  • CAROL LOLLIS<br/>Claudio Guerra's talks to officials at at his  home in Northampton after a fire early Thursday morning.

“This is something we do for our families,” said head of school Susan Swift. “Our community is really wonderful at coming together and supporting.”

Donations can be dropped off at the school, 51 Bates St., between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information on clothing sizes for the family, call the school’s main office at 586-4538, or send an email to Laura Frogameni, director of admissions, at info@northamptonmontessori.org.

Guerra’s home at 61 North Farms Road in Williamsburg — on the Northampton-Williamsburg line — was destroyed early Thursday by a blaze that firefighters suspect was started by a lightning strike during Wednesday evening’s thunderstorms.

No one was home at the time of the fire, and there were no injuries.

Guerra said Friday that he had just sat down with his children — ages 7, 4, and 2 — to tell them what happened to their home, and is now focusing on helping them adjust to the news. Guerra, his wife Maria, and the children had been visiting his father on the night of the fire. They are now staying in a hotel while they figure out their next steps.

He said he has insurance that will eventually help his family replace many things, but that for now, anything that anyone can donate to his children — new or used — would be helpful to them as they become situated.

“The kids are starting from scratch,” he said. “They don’t have anything, so it’s all good.”

Guerra is the owner of Spoleto, Pizzeria Paradiso and Mama Iguana’s restaurants downtown.

“It’s all anybody can talk about,” said Natasha Yakovlev, executive director of the Northampton Business Improvement District. “Claudio is an incredibly generous man.”

Evan Lash, bar manager at Mama Iguana’s, said Friday he noticed the previous night that the restaurant was a bit busier than usual on a Thursday, and suspects it was the community showing its support.

“Pretty much just coming to this restaurant really supports Claudio,” he said.

Guerra said his phone has been “ringing nonstop” with people offering to help him.

“The community has just been outstanding and so supportive,” he said. “It’s just one of those reminders of what a special place we live in.”

Gena Mangiaratti can be reached at gmangiaratti@gazettenet.com.

Legacy Comments1

This is beyond belief. NB: 'Guerra is the owner of Spoleto, Pizzeria Paradiso and Mama Iguana’s restaurants downtown.' So, he's broke? Really? NB: '“The kids are starting from scratch,” he said. “They don’t have anything, so it’s all good.” Consider this: Claudio Guerra has assets far beyond the average person's comprehension. He can give his children anything they may need, and right now. NB: “Claudio is an incredibly generous man.” The 6500 square foot home that burned down was built by contractors that have not been paid for their work. Claudio Guerra owes these workers, and others, hundreds of thousands of dollars. Generous? I don't think so. The Montessori School should use their generosity to help those truly in need of it. That very large group would most definitely NOT include Mr. Guerra and his family.

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