EIGHT snakes, a chameleon, two dogs and a cat survived a blaze – but hamster Dot was not so lucky.
The pet died when a faulty electric heater caused the fire at teacher Jan Creed’s home, in Roker Park Road, Roker.
Now, a kind-hearted store worker has offered to provide a new furry friend.
Karen Hair, of Pets at Home, on Hylton Retail Park, saw the Echo’s story on the fire and decided to step in and help.
The shop has now offered Jan’s 15-year-old daughter Rachel another hamster, as well as a cage, for free.
Rachel, recalling the fire, said: “I watching TV at the time. I just ran out and got my mam.
“By the time we got downstairs the flames were everywhere so we had to get out.”
Rachel – a pupil at St Wilfrid’s Comprehensive School, South Shields – and her brothers Scott, 24, Sam, 20, as well as stepdad Paul, 46, are staying at a hotel while repairs are carried out on their house.
The blaze broke out on Tuesday, April 26, at about 10.30pm.
Jan thanked Karen: “ I just think it is so kind of them. I wasn’t expecting this at all.”
Karen said: “I read about what happened and I was touched. I just wanted to do something for her.”