89-Year-Old Rebuilds Home Destroyed by Sandy, Then Thieves Set It on Fire

The Staten Island woman had paid for the new home with insurance money, FEMA funding and savings

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Staten Island home rebuilt after Sandy destroyed it last year was set on fire by thieves over the weekend, devastating its 89-year-old owner all over again. Marc Santia reports. (Published Monday, Jul 15, 2013)

    A Staten Island home rebuilt after Sandy destroyed it last year was set on fire by thieves over the weekend, devastating its 89-year-old owner all over again.

    Mary Roberts, who turns 90 in a few weeks, had used insurance money, FEMA funding and savings to pay for the repairs to her home, plus all new appliances, after Sandy ravaged her New Dorp neighborhood.

    Roberts also had a special customized bathtub with a bench installed in her new bathroom. 

    "She was thrilled -- she got a new house, I mean she had to go through a lot with Sandy and all, but it was a brand new house," said her niece, Loren Centineo.

    But now it's all gone again.

    Early Sunday morning, while Roberts was away, burglars broke into her house, ransacking the home and stealing TVs and jewelry before setting it on fire.

    One of her most treasured possessions, a stained glass window that survived Sandy, was destroyed.

    The fire consumed the first floor, and damaged the second. 

    "I think it's going to be devastating to her and I worry about her health," Centineo said.

    Centineo has set up a fundraising page for her aunt. It can be found here