Act Of Goodwill Helping Walter Connolly Rebuild After Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was an intersection of tragedy and generosity on a street in Brooklyn.

A victim of Hurricane Sandy was out for a walk when he came upon an incredible gift.

CBS 2’s Dick Brennan was in Bay Ridge on Friday with a feel-good story of life after Sandy.

They were spared the fire, but not the flood.

The raging flames that torched Breezy Point during Sandy stopped just short of the Connolly home, but that didn’t save the first floor.

“I don’t know what to say. I’ve never seen anything like that,” Walter Connolly said.

Connolly sat there in his temporary apartment in Bay Ridge and explained just how many repairs his Breezy Point home needs.

“The kitchen is gone, all the cabinets are gone, the bathroom is gone, tile had to be ripped up, the bedroom is gone,” Connolly said.

Connolly was walking one morning on 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge when he noticed Joe’s Appliances and figured he could pick up stuff for his house, but he had no idea what awaited him inside.

Store owner Arline Lewis was a woman on a goodwill mission.

“I’m gonna give this kitchen to the first Breezy Point resident who lost his permanent home, not a summer home, who walks through the door,” Lewis said, recounting her thoughts.

Connolly walked in and said the magic words.

“I told her that I had lost everything in my house in Breezy Point,” Connolly said.

“Well I said ‘Your a lucky man, you just got a kitchen,'” Lewis said.

“I said, ‘For free? She says ‘yes.’ I couldn’t believe it,” Connolly said.

The kitchen includes a refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher and stove worth around $2,000, but Lewis said she’s nothing special.

Connolly wants his home to look like it did before the storm hit and told his wife he may go shopping again.

“I says, ‘Annette maybe I should go to a Cadillac dealer,'” Connolly said.

Connolly said he’ll probably get his home up and running in about a year — new kitchen and all.

Frigidaire said it will match the offer by Lewis by giving a kitchen to another Breezy homeowner.

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