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Vermont Street widow, 86, ‘devastated’ after house fire

The suspicious early morning fire on Aug. 25 that began in a parked car and heavily damaged a Vermont Street home has devastated an elderly widow, friends say.

Anne Misso, 86, who cares for a disabled son who is now in his early 60s and lives on Social Security, did not carry fire insurance on her home, which needs a new roof and major repairs.

She is now living with her son in a relative’s West Side home, said her friend, Anne Bingeheimer Serravalle.

“This was her life,” Serravalle said of the fire-damaged house. “She raised her family there, cared for her son there and her life is now devastated due to whoever started her car on fire.”

Though police and fire investigators declined to comment on the investigation, Serravalle said she found it suspicious that a similar fire caused by a car this past Wednesday damaged a house just two blocks away from the Misso home. Both fires began at about 4:30 a.m., she noted.

Serravalle said she is hopeful that officials at some local public agency can be of assistance.

“She and her son are currently living with a family member but that is just a port in the storm and not a permanent living situation for them,” she said.

Misso “is proud and does not want to end up in senior housing or something like that and she is driven by her need to take care of her son,” Serravalle said.

According to Buffalo Fire Department records, the fire caused $2,500 damage to the Misso car, $30,000 damage to the Misso house, $5,000 to its contents and another $12,000 damage to an adjacent house.