By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jan 26, 2010 at 1:55 PM

While Channel 12 news is reporting that the Pizza Man fire started in the Black & White Cafe and is being considered arson, folks are banding together to help the victims of the blaze.

Earlier this week staffers heard about efforts to help one of the folks who lost everything when their apartments above Pizza Man burned last week. A local bartender was collecting items for her friend Dan, currently living at his dad's house, who hoped to move into a Downtown efficiency apartment soon.

Trouble is, he lost everything but the clothes on his back, his wallet and his cellphone in the blaze.

At the same time, we also heard that Pizza Man owners Mike and Deanna Amidzich have organized a benefit for all the apartment tenants. It will be held Thursday, Jan. 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Twisted Fork restaurant.

Admission is $5 at the door and includes free beer (donated by Twisted Fork), an auction and music. Food will be available for purchase. All proceeds from the event benefit those rendered homeless by the fire that also destroyed Pizza Man, Cush and Grecian Delight.

You can also make a donation at any Associated Bank branch.

If you'd like to help Dan directly, contact Mona at Dan needs household goods and clothes. If you're looking to donate the latter, please keep in mind that he's about 5' 10", weights 180 pounds and wears 34x32 pants, size 10 or 10.5 shoes and large or extra large shirts.

Over the weekend Deanna Amidzich led the charge to rescue as much as she could from the damaged restaurant.

"The restoration company is getting the arches and the booths out. There will be a lot of the original structure we'll be able to put into our new establishment when we go ahead and open," Amidzich told Channel 12 news.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.