A BIRD fancier has been left devastated after more than 30 of his animals were killed in a fire.
It’s believed someone deliberately set alight the cree, which housed budgies and zebra finches, in the early hours of this morning.
Firecrews from North Moor were called to the scene at Railway Terrace North, Herrington Burn, Houghton, at 5.15am, but no birds could be saved.
Watch manager Eddie Cairns said: “It was a wooden cree and there’s no reason why is would have set alight itself, there were no electrics or gas bottles in there.
“We were called by a neighbour who spotted the fire when he was walking his dog. The guy who owns the cree is absolutely devastated, collecting birds is what he does.”
Northumbria Police are investigating the incident and are appealing for witnesses to come forward.
A spokesman said: “At 6.07am on Friday, March 20, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service notified police that they had extinguished a fire at the cree. Fire investigators suspected that the cree had been deliberately set of ablaze.
“The cree was destroyed and 30 birds were killed.
“This is being treated as arson and a police investigation is underway.”
•Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference 140 200315 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.