Former Marine vows he won't leave village after suspected arson attacks on home as more than £250,000 raised for family
Sean Ivey has said his family will not be moving from Wingate after their home was destroyed in two suspected arson attacks last week.
Mr Ivey, his wife and their two young children were forced to flee the house when it was engulfed by flames in the early hours of the morning on Thursday, 18 March.
The veteran, who now teaches at Hartlepool College, has said some “priceless memories” – including medals and uniforms from his time at the Royal Marines - had also been destroyed in the fire, but said he was grateful the family was able to escape the fire unscathed.
"The Royal Marines’ Association is already in the process of replacing the medals, which is great,” he added.
The father has said that he will not leave the area, despite the suspected attacks on his home.
He said: "We’re not moving.
"We’ll just try and make the most of the situation that we’re in. We’re in the process of rebuilding what we’ve lost, look forward and see what the future brings.
"Hopefully we’ll be back in the street we live, where we love living and surrounded by the wonderful people who’ve supported us.”
Following news of the first fire, Kevin Miller, who served with Mr Ivey at 45 Commando, set up a fundraiser for the family. By Monday evening, more than £260,000 had been raised.
Mr Ivey said: "It’s astonishing, the generosity of the British public.
"I’ve had messages from people donating in Canada and Australia. I can’t put it into words, we are just so humbled by it all.
“It’s going to allow us to get ourselves back on our feet and rebuild our house.”
Four people were arrested over the weekend in connection with the suspected fires, Durham Constabulary has said. Two men, who were arrested last week on suspicion of arson have been released on police bail, police have also confirmed.