Sunderland toddler brought back to life after fire rescue is home for Christmas

House fire toddler,  18 month old Miles McBurnie with brother William Roney, 8.
House fire toddler, 18 month old Miles McBurnie with brother William Roney, 8.

A boy pulled from his burning house and brought back to life by firefighters is out of hospital for Christmas.

Miles McBurnie had stopped breathing when firefighters found him in his bedroom at his home in Witherwack last Monday night.

House fire toddler,  18 month old Miles McBurnie with grandmother Ann Solomon

House fire toddler, 18 month old Miles McBurnie with grandmother Ann Solomon

The 18-month-old was revived by the crew using CPR before he was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital, and then on to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, where he was treated for smoke inhalation.

The toddler spent a time on a ventilator, but after he fought doctor’s efforts to sedate him, he was brought round and proved he was able to breathe for himself.

Now he has been released from hospital and is back with his mum Lorna Roney, 29, and brother William Roney, eight, as well as grandmother Ann Solomon, 51.

Lorna has been given a rented home close to her house in Wentbridge while the property is repaired.

As I’ve said to Lorna, you can replace whatever was in the house, but you can’t replace these boys.

Ann Solomon

She and partner Adam McBurnie, who is Miles’s father, had tried to battle their way through the smoke to reach Miles upstairs, but were overcome by the fume, while neighbours also tried to reach him before the fire service and paramedics arrived.

William had managed to escape from the house unscathed.

The mum and her family are now rallying round to replace toys and other items lost in the fire so they can still enjoy Christmas together.

It comes as the family marked eight years since the death of William’s dad Lance Corporal Christopher Roney of A Company, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, in a ‘friendly fire’ incident in Afghanistan on December 21, 2009.

Ann, who lives on the same estate, said: “They are back home and we have done so much running about trying to get together Christmas presents.

“They were trying to sedate Miles in hospital, but he just kept fighting and fighting it so they started to let him try and breathe for himself.

“He had been on life support and oxygen and they were using a tube to feed him, but then when he was transferred back to Sunderland, they took him off the oxygen and after a while he was running about his room and much better.

“They’ve kept him on antibiotics, but they’re just about finished.

“He’s doing fine and the doctors decided he could go.

“When I saw him, I could have cried.

“We’ve got the boys back for Christmas.

“As I’ve said to Lorna, you can replace whatever was in the house, but you can’t replace these boys.

“Again, we can’t thank the emergency services enough for what they did. I just don’t have the words.”

Ann, along with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer Chris Lowther, have praised the team who rescued Miles.

Firefighters from Marley Park, Sunderland Central and Farringdon were called to the scene.

Officer in charge, Kev Burns, crew manager Ronnie Monaghan and firefighters Lee Thew, Lee Chape and Michael Longstaff rescued Miles and gave him CPR to support his breathing before paramedics took over.

The service has said the likely cause of the fire, which started in Lorna’s bedroom, was an unattended candle.

The family have also been taken aback at response from the community in the aftermath of the blaze, which happened just after midnight on Monday, December 11.

In addition to gifts and donations, funds have been raised through a page set up for the family.

It can be found via https://www.gofundme.com/william-and-miles-funding.