Local pizza place feeds first responders in Willimantic

WILLIMANTIC -- Tony's Pizza in Willimantic is your typical mom and pop pizza joint, with emphasis on "mom."

"This is my house," said Despina Loukas. "I tell them to make a little bed and I stay here. They don't want me to stay here."

Loukas and her family have owned Tony's Pizza for almost 45 years. They call her mom because she's always looking to help her community.

When Sunday's fire at Willimantic Waste Paper Company drew hundreds of first responders to the scene, Loukas knew they needed a little help from mom.

"We can help them. That's what it is," said Loukas.

They knew the first responders would be hungry so they started helping the best way they could.

We had just started sending pizzas before the donations and then the donations started coming in," said Angelo Loukas. "So as they were coming in we were just sending more and more."

The word got out and the community pitched in. Call after call, community members donated money to the pizza shop to help pay for pizza's for the first responders.

The fire eventually subsided and the responders left well-fed. Monday night, one last crew was tasked with staying overnight to watch the scene just in case.

Right there waiting for them was one last pizza delivery from mom.