Shotley man thanks neighbors after dog starts fire

Published:
6:00 AM April 2, 2022



A Shotley man says he is “overwhelmed” after his community rallied around him when a fire tore through his home.

On February 14, Andy Miley received a phone call at work from a neighbour, telling him that his home was ablaze.

Mr Miley, 42, said he believes that one of his puppies must have jumped onto his cooker to retrieve some food, knocking one of the knobs and starting the fire.




Andy believes one of his dogs may have accidentally switched on a kitchen appliance, starting the fire. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND
– Credit: Archant


Andy from Shotley house fire

Andy’s kitchen will need to be replaced after it was burned down in the fire. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND
– Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Fortunately, nobody was hurt, and Mr. Miley’s two dogs were unharmed.

However, his home was left needing extensive repairs, including a new roof and kitchen.

To make matters worse, some confusion between Mr Miley and his ex-wife meant that neither of them had been paying house insurance.

However, his reputation as someone who does what he can to help his community meant that they came together to repay his kindness.

“When it first happened, with no house insurance, I thought, oh my god, what am I going to do?” Mr Miley said.

“When this kind of things happens, you think you’re on your own. I’m quite a proud man, I don’t like to ask for help.

“But sometimes in these situations, you just need to.”


Andy's house is slowly being repaired and renovated, starting with the upstairs rooms.

Andy’s house is slowly being repaired and renovated, starting with the upstairs rooms.
– Credit: Andy Miley


Andy is grateful to the friends who have helped him replaster his walls.

Andy is grateful to the friends who have helped him replaster his walls, as the long process of renovations continues.
– Credit: Andy Miley


Andy has started renovating the upstairs rooms as he waits for the kitchen to be replaced

Andy has started renovating the upstairs rooms as he waits for the kitchen to be replaced, and says he will work his way down.
– Credit: Andy Miley

His good friend, Nikita Bones, set up a fundraiser for him, which has reached over £1,800. He has also been inundated with offers of help and support.

“People I don’t even know have been bringing food round, it’s very kind,” said Mr Miley.

“With what’s going on in the world, and people struggling with bills, I just think how kind they are to give me some money and bits and pieces.

Mr Miley says renovations are underway, but this will be a long process, with his kitchen not yet able to be replaced.

“All the roof has been paid for now, so that’s a big weight off my mind.

“I’ve got all the trusses to go up, and a very good friend of mine is going to give me a hand.”

“The fire didn’t go right through the house, which I’m very grateful to the fire brigade for.

“Everyone has clubbed together. Words can’t express it, really.”

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