Expensive items stolen following Queens fire

July 21, 2010 3:07:48 PM PDT
A Queens couple who already lost their home in a fire, now says they lost valuable items that were inside.

"It's a mess, a real mess, I have not a toothbrush," said fire victim, George Regoukos.

Regoukos says he doesn't know what he'll do, about all he's lost in the fire.

It happened 2 weeks ago in Bay Terrace.

The roof of his apartment building was smoldering at the time, and dozens of tenants were displaced, but that was only the beginning.

"I don't know what to do, I'm very frustrated," Regoukos said.

Regoukos and others were escorted back into their apartments after the fire, only to find out that some of their most prized possessions were either stolen or trashed.

"All the paintings, the Lalique, the Stueben glass?I had museum pieces, everything just disappeared," Regoukos said.

In Regoukos' case, the family mementos, such as furniture and artwork, were antiques that cannot be replaced, and his lawyer tells us, they're worth a tremendous amount of money.

"We're talking about a quarter of a million dollars. Yes, yes, very substantial, very substantial," said the residents' lawyer, Herbert Waichman.

His lawyer says Regoukos isn't the only one who's lost out.

"Well I have about 10 additional clients that relate similar occurrences to me," Waichman said.

Eyewitness News asked the building's management company, Ciampa in Flushing, for some answers.

Turns out, a worker they had hired was the one who started the fire by using a blowtorch on the roof.

But they had no answers Wednesday, and eventually asked Eyewitness News to leave.

They told Eyewitness News that it was still under investigation, even though the man was charged with reckless endangerment.