A mam-of-two has spoken out after her dad’s garden shed was torched by arsonists.
Stephen Miller wasn’t in when the blaze struck at his home in Brunswick Road, Sunderland – a fact his daughter, Vicky, is thanking her lucky stars for.
Mr Miller suffers from COPD and sarcoidosis, a rare lung condition, and if the grandad-of-five had been at his house when the fire happened he could have been seriously injured.
The blaze was started between 5am and 7.30am on Tuesday – and it was an alert neighbour who raised the alarm in the street, and contacted the emergency services, after seeing the smoke.
Vicky, who visits her dad every day, said: “I’m just glad that my dad wasn’t here when it happened.
“He suffers badly with his chest – and it’s really lucky he wasn’t here.”
Police officers are currently treating the fire as arson – and it is believed that the shed was deliberately burned to the ground.
Mr Miller’s tools, painting and decorating gear, lawnmower and garden furniture were all destroyed in the fire.
His bike was also damaged, along with the nearby communal garage and the back of the house.
The frames on the kitchen and bathroom windows have melted away, Vicky, 34, said, and the guttering has also been destroyed.
A pane of glass in the kitchen has been affected by the fire, and will need to be replaced.
Those living in nearby properties had to rush outside at 6am to move their vehicles from the garages near to Mr Miller’s home.
The grandad, who is 52, used to work on the oil rigs, but hasn’t worked for many years due to his bad health, his daughter said.
“There probably would have been people killed if the cars had caught fire,” Vicky added.
“I don’t know who would have done this.
“I am just glad that everybody was okay, but whoever has done this, I want them to be caught.
“Something could have happened to someone, anything could have happened.”
If you witnessed the fire or have any information about the incident, contact Northumbria Police on 101. Dial extension 6919, and quote reference 274 031115. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.