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HomeNewsClarksville Online author's home damaged in a fire, donations needed!

Clarksville Online author’s home damaged in a fire, donations needed!

House on fireThere’s a man living across from Christine Piesyk who, every morning, sits outside on his porch taking in the new day. This morning Wednesday August 30th 2006, he heard frantic screaming from Christine’s house at a little before 7 a.m.. Then Christine’s front  window exploded and smoke started pouring out of the house. He jumped up and ran for the phone.

When I got to Christine’s house at around 1 pm., the front two windows were black gaping holes. A heap of melted and blackened furniture and other debris was stacked up in the front yard.

Christine’s daughter, Kelly, greeted me and said that Christine wasn’t there. She had gone to a hotel that the Red Cross had paid for.

Damage to Christine's home, Front entranceKelly invited me into the house where she surveyed the damage for another time. She pointed to the wall, “that’s where Grandma’s picture was that she made. I’ll miss that more than anything.” She pointed at all the things that used to be Grandma’s. Finally she found rosary beads that were wrapped around a melted lamp. She grabbed a towel and rubbed the beads until you could see their real color again. It was a little victory.

Here’s what happened that morning:

Damage to Christine's home, Frame on wallOur dear friend Christine Piesyk laid back down to sleep after seeing her three grandkids off to school. Kelley was not at the house, son-in-law was asleep downstairs. Christine was awakened by the family dog leaping and jumping on her repeatedly, making weird noises. “OK, I’ll let you out!” she said. She opened the bedroom door to a house engulfed in flames and smoke. She quickly kicked open the front door for the dog and ran downstairs to awaken her son in law. They all got out except for one lizard.

Christine confesses that if the dog hadn’t jumped on her, she would have died this day.

Damage to Christine's home, BathroomThe family will repair and rebuild. The brave work of trying to clean and save their smoke filled clothes and furniture has begun already. The fire was an electrical one and no one’s fault. This hurts their one income family pretty badly. I went and bought some cleaning supplies and brought them to the son-in-law and he broke down in tears. He said that he always tries to help others, maybe what goes around comes around. If there is any help you would like to give, they would truly appreciate it.

Please make a donation, this is a devastating tragedy for this family. Anything at all will help! We all need to help and support our neighbors in their time of need, because one day it might be our turn to ask for their help.

Note: All money donated through the paypal donation button
goes straight to Christine.

Debbie Boen

P.S. The dog had a well deserved steak dinner today.

Debbie Boen
Debbie Boen
Debbie and her family moved to Clarksville slightly after the tornado of 1999. Debbie founded the group, Clarksville Freethinkers for Peace and Civil Liberties, in 2004. She participated in Gathering to Save Our Democracy, a group dedicated to obtaining free and verifiable elections in Tennessee. She has supported groups including the NAACP, Nashville Peace Coalition, PFLAG, Friends of Dunbar Cave and the Mountain Top Removal Series of Films and speakers. She participated as an artist in the ARTZ gallery group in Clarksville and won Best of Show, First and 2 Second Place awards for four of her sculptures. She won a voter's choice award for a performance at the Roxy Regional Theatre. She is a wife, mother and cancer survivor. She is always amazed at the capabilities of the human spirit, and the wisdom to find humor when there is none.


  1. I am donating my first $20 on friday, I have also offered to purchase cleaning supplies and other necessities. Anything at all will help them, so donate something! Remember you can donate more than once as well. So if you only have $5 today, but next week can give them $20, that’s $25!

    If you can not pay online, you can send checks payable to Christine Piesyk to the Clarksville Online at the address provided on the contact us page above!

    People who wish to can contact Christine directly via email.

  2. These people are so brave. Son in law got all the furniture and rug out of the living room, boarded the windows and worked until he couldn’t do anymore. The kids were right there helping. It’s hard to look at everything you own as destroyed.
    Christine is the wizard of solving problems and frugality (is that a word?). She is tackling this thing, along with the tears, by taking the granddaughters clothes and getting them washed (this without a car). By putting a little hope at a time into the situation they are making a tiny bit of progress.

    The soot is in layers on everything. Today Christine started making piles of things savable and unsavable.
    I don’t know if you could see it in the pictures I took but their walls bubbled under the heat. The living room was completely destroyed. Christine hopes that her computer (with her manuscripts on it) can be saved). The movies on the wall shelf melted into one big glob. The beds upstairs are covered in soot–I don’t know how you would get the smell out of them. The water damage isn’t really that bad but you can’t touch anything without looking (and smelling) like a chimney sweep.
    Anything you can send their way would really help them out. Thanks for your kindness! Debbie

  3. To those of you that have responded, even with just thoughts and prayers…from the bottom of our hearts Thank you. This has been a very stressful time for my family and will take a very long time to recover from. While my Mom and my and the rest of us lost so much, my oldest daughter Brandi lost almost everything she owned. I know they were just “things” but to a 17 year old like my daughter it can be devistating.
    To Debbie, you have know idea what it meant to me yesturday to see you pull in the driveway with cleaning stuff and food and tea. I’ve never known what it was like to have so many people come just for support, if nothing else.
    I don’t know what else to say, it’s all just so overwhelming…but again, Thank You All!

  4. Kelly, Robert, Brandi, Rock, Bobbie and Christine: I don’t know what I can do,
    but I’ll figure something out. Brandi, you know how to contact me, let me know
    a few things you’d really like and it’ll be done, Bobbie, you too, let me know
    what you lost that can be replaced and it will happen. I love you all SO very
    much and I can’t stop the tears right now. I promise to do whatever I can.

    Love Auntie Aprils sister,Amy :)

    PS to Robert: Rocks, Dirt, Mud….I love you and we’ll all clean it up together

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