LEVITTOWN, NY (CBS 2) — A Levittown woman is dealing with more than just storm damage from Irene. After days in the dark, a fast-moving fire destroyed her home when power was finally restored to her neighborhood, CBS 2’s John Slattery reports.

For Jackie Walton, it’s a blessing she has her family to support her now that her house is gone.

A fire Tuesday afternoon shot through the roof and gutted the upstairs.

“It’s horrible. Forty years. It’s my life,” she said.

Inside, the house is a picture of destruction. Burned beams on the second floor and severe fire and water damage on the first floor.

It’s believed the fire started in the upstairs bedroom at the same time the power came back in the neighborhood.

“Either a power surge or, really don’t know, but a power surge when power went back on,” said Walton.

The five family members who live there were not at home. In a touch of irony, Walton, who is a Nassau County 9-1-1 operator, was informed of the fire by a fellow operator.

“I got a call that one of my co-workers at 9-1-1 dispatched a call that your house was on fire and to get home.”

She’s been through a lot since losing her husband Donald this past winter.

“She just buried her husband seven months ago,” said son-in-law Brian Thomas. “I don’t know how she does it. I don’t know how she keeps going.”

“I had breast cancer surgery this year. Double-cataracts and today’s my birthday,” said Walton.

So out came an ice-cream cake from a daughter’s freezer for an impromptu celebration, just steps away from the Walton’s latest tragedy.

Insurance adjusters have already told her the house is a total loss.

“Forty years, almost 40 years,” she said. “It’s all gone.”

A woman of bravery and good cheer who will never forget the wrath of Irene.

There are still more than 5,700 customers without power in Levittown.

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