Patrons raise funds after Rosa’s fire


Brian Schanen

Firefighters respond to a fire at Rosa’s Pizza on Saturday, Oct. 7. The fire originated in the kitchen of the restaurant but damage extended to the buildings surrounding the restaurant. Touched by a Paw animal rescue nearby had to evacuate the cats in the shelter and damages totaled $300,000 between the buildings.

Nicole Aimone, News Editor

A GoFundMe Page started by a group of UW-Whitewater students to raise funds for Rosa’s Pizza after Saturday morning’s fire, has raised $2,255 of its $30,000 goal, as of Oct. 9.

The fire started in the kitchen of the restaurant.

According to a news release from the Whitewater Fire Department, first responders were able to extinguish the fire within about 45 minutes and remained on the scene for approximately six hours to ventilate the restaurant and adjacent buildings and nearby apartments. The Whitewater Fire Department was assisted by over 20 other fire departments in the surrounding areas.

The Whitewater Fire Department estimated the building and surrounding apartments sustained nearly $300,000 in damages.

Located in the building adjacent to Rosa’s Pizza is Touched by a Paw, Inc., a local cat rescue shelter that was heavily affected by the fire. The Whitewater Fire Department evacuated all cats from the building. Several cats were taken to Whitewater Veterinary Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation or other injuries.

Touched by a Paw is currently accepting donations of money, through check via mail, and PayPal, which can be found on the website The rescue is also in need of cat food donations. Those who wish to donate food can call the rescue’s phone number, (262) 473-4769, for instructions on how to drop off donations. Touched by a Paw will be closed for cleaning until further notice.

The GoFundMe for the restaurant was started by sophomores August Hengel, Bryan Behrendt, Brad Krisch, Gabriel Rasmussen, Nicholas Koenig and Jacob Erbs. The fundraising page can be found at

“We love enjoying Rosa’s Pizza and we were very devastated when we found out the news that they had a terrible fire. We wanted to help out so we set up a GoFundMe page to help raise some money,” Hengel said in an email statement representing the group.