Community rallies round to help Sunderland pigeon fancier rebuild his arson-hit crees
A pigeon enthusiast has spoken of the heartache he has faced after losing almost all of his birds in a suspected arson attack.
Glen Fisk was distraught to find his sheds in the allotment site, off Keir Hardie Way, ablaze when he was woken by a friend at 11pm last Friday, July 5, as he slept at his Southwick home.
The 40-year-old lost around 70 pigeons in the blaze and now has just 10 birds, which were being kept on a separate plot.
Glen, who took up the hobby in 2009, said firefighters had to stop him going too close to the flames as he tried to save his pigeons.
While his pal David Middleton has launched an auction of birds donated by others to raise funds, a GoFundMe campaign has also been launched to help him get back up and running.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has confirmed its inquiries found the fire was started maliciously.
Glen did not keep any heating equipment close to where the fire began and was warned about the severity of the blaze as his friend drove him to the plot.
Glen said: “It’s not about the value of them for me, they’re like my own children, and they weren’t valuable, it was all for my enjoyment.
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“I loved those pigeons to bits.
“They would race 200 or 300 miles, I’ve had two in races this year from Belgium, and the thing for me is waiting for them to come home, and they are my life – I give them all names.
“People keep stopping me on The Green and asking how I am and I cry.
“All they are doing is show they care, but it brings back a lot of memories for me.
“I want to rebuild, but the worst part of it is clearing up and taking care of the carcasses, the lads have been helping me.
“Some people have been really nice, a lot have rang me and have been really supportive and I want to thank them as well.”
The GoFundMe page to donate funds to Glen can be found via https://bit.ly/2xFQmKg