updated 7/25/2006 10:09:07 PM ET 2006-07-26T02:09:07

Emily Gibbons has been collecting dolls for 15 years, amassing about 200 of them in her small apartment.

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They've brought her a lot of joy, at times reminding the 73-year-old woman what it's like to hold a baby in her arms again. Most recently, though, they've gotten her in trouble with the Greenwich Housing Authority.

Housing officials said the doll collection cluttered the public housing apartment and is a fire hazard. The Housing Authority threatened to evict her if she didn't clear the clutter.

"The dolls per se were not the issue — it was that the apartment was not up to standard," said Terry Mardula, the housing authority's deputy director. "It was cluttered with too much stuff. She has stuff in the closets causing the doors to come out. They could come down on her. She has heaters blocked."

Most of the dolls have had to go. Gibbons packed away all but about 20 and is temporarily storing the rest at her daughter's home.

Housing officials will inspect her apartment every two months. Mardula said Gibbons passed with flying colors at her most recent inspection.

Still, she misses having the dolls.

At the peak of her collecting, they occupied nearly every spot on the floor between her sofa and television. Gibbons said she wants to find them new homes.

"I want them to go to someone who loves them," she said.

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