A man who’s done so much to help others in need is now finding himself on the receiving end of things, following a fire Wednesday evening that destroyed his woodworking shop on the outskirts of Vanntown.
“I’m accustomed to helping others ... I’m not used to this, but I do appreciate it,” said Danny Pigg after learning that friends had set up funds to help him recover from the fire, which took everything from cabinets in the making to his hand tools, basically all he had that he uses for work except for his pickup truck.
“If there’s one lesson I’ve learned from working with folks over the years, it’s that no matter how tough you have it, there’s always someone who has it tougher,” he said. “Yes, this is an inconvenience for sure, but compared to what some people are going through, it’s just a bump in the road.”
Pigg was out Highway 110 on an estimate when he learned the hub of his business, The Wood Shop, was on fire. A woman who lives in the house next to the shop heard a big pop, said Doug Campbell, chief of Lincoln County Volunteer Fire Rescue, explaining that a severe thunderstorm was moving through at the time, and the pop is believed to have been lightning striking the shop.
Volunteer firefighters from Vanntown, Elora and Flintville responded, Campbell said, but that the shop was quickly engulfed. Despite the fast response, firemen did well to protect the house just a short distance away, remaining on the scene for several hours to ensure its safety.
“The lady owned the building, and while she had insurance on it, Danny, who rented it from her, didn’t have insurance on the contents,” said the chief, estimating that close to 15,000 gallons of water were used in the effort. “I’m sure some residents in the area were experiencing low water pressure because of what we were drawing off the system ... We did notify Chris Merz [superintendent of the Lincoln County Board of Public Utilities], just to let him know in case they received any calls.”
A way to help
Two funds were established by friends the day following the fire.
There is a Danny A. Pigg Benefit Account set up at First National Bank, and contributions can be made at any of First National’s locations, or they can be mailed to 405 West College Street, Fayetteville, TN 37334.
A Go Fund Me account – gofundme.com/danny-pigg-benefit – is also available for those who prefer to make contributions online.
“Danny does so much for other people in need,” said friend Debbie Self Simms Thursday afternoon, explaining that for all that Pigg does to help others in the community, it just seemed right to organize ways others could now give back to him and help get him back on his feet.
The EVT has done numerous articles over the years about Provision Port, a nonprofit organization Pigg was instrumental in founding a decade or more ago to combat hunger in our community. Each December, the nonprofit holds a drive for nonperishable food items and tax-deductible cash donations to assist local families in need.
More recently, the nonprofit has begun accepting donations of medical equipment to assist people in need but who can’t afford the items, ranging from walkers to hospital beds.
The effort recently provided a wheelchair for a young child, and later this month, it will hold a motorcycle ride to raise funds to purchase a van equipped with a lift for a 12-year-old Knoxville girl who is faced with several physical challenges.
A place to hang his hat
“I’m just glad no one was hurt,” said Pigg last week. “Until I get a place to hang my hat, I’m still available to make home repairs and to do those small renovations that a lot of bigger contractors won’t take on.”
It’s work he’s been doing for almost half a century, he said, noting that he built his own home and has a list of qualified subcontractors that he calls on to help with various jobs. He relicensed a year ago under the name of Danny’s Home Service, but for the vast portion of his time in the business, he’s operated under the name of The Wood Shop.
“I do a lot of home maintenance projects and things like countertop replacement with granite and quartz and jobs like full cabinet replacement,” he said. “I’m in the processing of finding a temporary location to operate out of ... I may slow down a bit on full kitchen remodels, though, until we get into a bigger shop.”
Pigg offers free estimates and can be contacted either on Facebook or at 931-993-7937 – “If I don’t answer right away, just leave me a message or text me,” he said.