An 8-year-old New York girl who suffered burns over 75 percent of her body in a May 2013 arson fire that killed her father and three siblings is getting an all-expense-paid trip to Disney World.
Safyre Terry was severely disfigured in the Schenectady fire; she lost her left foot and right hand and needed more than 50 surgeries to graft skin over her burns. Her 32-year-old father; 3-year-old sister, Layah; and brothers Michael, 2, and Donovan, 11 months, perished in the blaze, which had been set in the upstairs stairwell leading to the family's apartment.
Safyre's mother gave up custody, and the little girl now lives with her aunt and uncle in Rotterdam.
The aunt, Liz Dodler, who has four other children, posted on Facebook Sunday night that she couldn't wait to share the news with Safyre and her children. She said one of Safyre's friends from school nominated her for the Disney trip.
The trip is being sponsored by Baking Memories 4 Kids, a non-profit group that funds week-long trips for children with life-threatening and terminal illness. The New York State Police, the Schenectady Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which helped investigate the 2013 fire, will help present the trip to Safyre and her family.
Earlier this month, a Facebook post about Safyre asking for Christmas cards from around the world went viral. About 18,000 cards and letters and 400 packages were delivered to her in a two-ton truck not long after the post took off, and the postmaster had expected a tractor-trailer would be needed for a second delivery.
A YouCaring.com crowdfunding site has generated more than $325,000 in donations for Safyre and the aunt and uncle she now lives with in Rotterdam.
A man was initially arrested and charged with setting the fire at Safyre's apartment, but charges against him were dropped less than a year later. Federal authorities did not explain at the time what prompted their decision.
Last November, another man was convicted of lying about being near the scene of the fire. He has not been charged with causing any of the deaths.