Family of toddler brought back to life by firefighters after Sunderland house blaze looking forward to happier Christmas

The family of a Sunderland boy who was brought back to life after being rescued from his burning home a year ago say they are hoping this Christmas will be a better one.

Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 13:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th December 2018, 10:15 am
Miles McBurnie with grandmother Ann Solomon.

His brother William Roney, now aged nine, managed to escape on his own, as Miles’ parents attempted to fight their way up the stairs to reach the toddler.

Miles McBurnie with brother William Roney.

When they were overcome by the smoke, neighbours too tried to rescue Miles, before firefighters from Marley Park, Farringdon and Sunderland Central fire stations arrived and pulled the unconscious boy from the house.

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Firefighters performed CPR on Miles for ten minutes and managed to revive the youngster who was taken by ambulance to Sunderland Royal hospital and was then transferred to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Now aged two, the brave little boy is back to his usual self and grandmother Ann Solomon said the mum Lorna Roney and the two boys are looking forward to a happier Christmas following their 'nightmare' ordeal.

Ann, 52, who lives across the street from the family, said: "At the end of the day we have got him as it could have been a lot worse.

Miles McBurnie with grandmother Ann Solomon.

"You can rebuild a house but you can't rebuild a life.

"It's been a godsend that he is still with us and we can't be anymore thankful and grateful to the firefighters and the emergency services.

"It just shows you the heart and soul of the firefighters who aren't just doing their job, they have families themselves and they are just absolutely amazing."

Brothers William Roney and Miles McBurnie.

Although the house has now been fully repaired, including a new roof, attic, and bedrooms, the family are still living in a rented house on the same estate, with grandmother Ann saying it has been too painful for the family to return home just yet.

The fire was understood to have been caused by a candle in parents Lorna and Adam's room and the family have been receiving counselling.

Ann added: "They are living in a rented house on the same estate as there are too many bad memories.

"It is too hard for them to go back in just yet and they have all had counselling since.

"After all the builders went in you wouldn't think anything had happened there, it has gone from a horrible feeling to a calm feeling."

Less than a week after being admitted to hospital, Miles was allowed to go home and is now back to his happy self.

His bravery has earned him the nickname 'little lungs of steel' by his grandmother.

The family are now doing well thanks to the support from the community who rallied around last Christmas to raise funds for the family to buy presents.

Ann said: "They are happy but it is still raw as they have had a lot to deal with.

"And this month is it the anniversary of my mam who passed away and on December 22 it is the anniversary of Williams's dad Lance Corporal Christopher Roney who was killed in Afghanistan.

"So it is tough but we are doing our best.

"The support from the community reduced us to tears, it was absolutely overwhelming.

"People were coming to the doors say have this and that and I just kept crying because of the generosity."