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Owner Sentenced for Campground Arson | News

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Owner Sentenced for Campground Arson

A woman was sentenced in Susquehanna County on Thursday, accused of setting several fires at a campground.

Tamara Santarelli, formerly of Wilkes-Barre and now living in New York, was sentenced to seven years probation. She will also have to pay back nearly $100,000 to insurance companies, money that was paid out after two fires at the Shady Rest Campground near Gibson.

The couple who used to own the campground and sold it to Santarelli said they were just glad the ordeal is over and that they were able to get that property back.

Tamara Santarelli ran from the media after her sentencing in Susquehanna County court where she was ordered to serve seven years probation and pay back almost $97,000 to insurance companies.

It was all related to a 2009 fire at her residence and office at the Shady Rest Campground she owned near Gibson.

Santarelli had pleaded no contest to arson and reckless endangerment after the fire, meaning she did not admit guilt, but did not fight the charges.

Santarelli was also accused of a 2007 fire at the bath house on the campground.

"They didn't give her enough. She's dangerous. She's a dangerous person," said Arnold Manning.

"I feel that she is wicked and she's a scammer and I think that she needs to be off of the streets because she will do to others what she has done to us," added Alice Manning.

Arnold and Alice Manning owned the Shady Rest Campground and sold it to Tammy Santarelli and her husband, even financing the property for them.

The Mannings said after the Santarelli's failed to make mortgage payments, they had started the foreclosure process. That was when the second fire nearly destroyed their decades of hard work.

"We've been married for 60 years and we've worked together hard for all of our lives for what we have and it just seems a shame that people like Tamara can scam away from you what you've worked all your life for," said Alice Manning.

"We trusted these people. We figured they were all right and it didn't take long," added Arnold Manning.

Santarelli's husband was orginally also charged with one of the fires, but the charges against him were later dropped.

As part of Tammy Santarelli's plea agreement, she handed over the deed to the Shady Rest Campground, giving it back to Arnold and Alice Manning.

The Mannings said they now plan to keep the campground in the family.


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