Vercellotti Recovering from Fire

By Danielle Portteus
Toledo Free Press
July 5, 2006

Claudia Vercellotti, co-leader of Toledo Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said every day since her Sept. 2005 fire is a challenge. The fire destroyed virtually all her possessions, including documents to fight clerical abuse.

Lt. Richard Bosak said the fire investigation is continuing.

"We have received a lot of phone tips because of the person's name," he said. "We can do follow-up things through interviews."

Bosak said the cause of the fire has yet to be identified.

"It's undetermined," he said. "Due to the massive destruction, we are unable to eliminate all accidental and mechanical sources."

Vercellotti said she knows she is not the only one who suffered.

"There were 17 people displaced," she said. "Every single person lost in that fire, not just me. Some people were in their homes for many more years than I was. I've undergone a lot of delayed grieving. Pre-fire, my efforts were on Senate Bill 17; I had put in nearly four years."

Ohio Senate Bill 17 is pending legislation that seeks to expand the statute of limitations for alleged sexual abuse victims in civil cases.

Since the fire, Vercellotti has made 32 trips to the capital.

"There was no time then to slow down," she said.

Vercellotti said she lost everything she owned and was not adequately insured for such a fire.

"I can pack everything I now own in a car," she said. "I was grossly underinsured. In no way was I prepared for a total loss."


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