Their house was destroyed by fire. An apartment broke down. Now their future is uncertain.

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Devastating fire torn up a Midland Beach house last week, tearing down its walls and gobble up personal belongings of Michelle Rosario and her family.

The building was closed and Rosario’s family were left with no place to live.

Rosario, her husband, Randolph, her 19-year-old daughter, Lanena, and her 20-year-old son, Giovanni, were contacted by the Red Cross with temporary accommodation after the fire. They stayed at a Manhattan hotel for two days before being moved to the Hampton Inn on South Avenue to accommodate the family’s jobs, which are located on Staten Island.

But, on Tuesday, their temporary stay comes to an end, according to Rosario, and their next step is uncertain after she said an application for an apartment complex had been turned down.

“I thought I was going to move in on Tuesday,” Rosario said. “I wasn’t even thinking that far. And now, because it’s happening and they denied me … I don’t know.

A fire ravaged a house at 1150 Mason Avenue on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 (Staten Island Advance / Jan Somma-Hammel)

Rosario said her family had been shown an apartment and hoped she would be able to move in when she was forced to move out of her temporary accommodation.

But, they encountered an unexpected obstacle.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), Rosario said his credit had been affected and his student loans were deferred. Although she and her husband both had jobs, she was required to provide a guarantor to sign for the apartment.

When her mother, who lives on a fixed income, acted as guarantor, Rosario learned that her family’s application for the apartment had been turned down.

Their house was destroyed by fire.  An apartment offer failed.  Now their future is uncertain.

Randolph Rosario, Lanena Rosario and Giovanni Rosario. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Rosario)

It is not known if and when the family’s former apartment in Midland Beach will be habitable, said Rosario, whose family had previously lost their home to Hurricane Sandy in Midland Beach in 2012.

“I don’t know when the house is going to be fixed,” Rosario said. “I don’t even know if, once the house is repaired, I will even be able to go back there. “

Hampton Inn management offered the family a room at a reduced rate, Rosario said, adding that they still couldn’t afford to stay in a hotel for an extended period.

In the aftermath of the fire, Rosario said his family received a wave of support and GoFundMe pages have been created to collect financial aid. “The community has been great,” she said.

But, concerned about where her family will sleep tomorrow, Rosario said she was focusing on finding a place where they could stay.

“We weren’t expecting a fire,” she said. “Financially, we didn’t even have money set aside for another rental.

Now, on the eve of the day they were hoping to move into an apartment, Rosario finds himself with more questions than answers.

“We only have one day,” she said.

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