Family thank hero firefighters after Sunderland toddler brought back to life after house blaze

William Roney and his brother Miles McBurnie.
William Roney and his brother Miles McBurnie.

The family of a toddler rescued from his burning home have hailed the heroes who saved his life.

Miles McBurnie, 18-months, is today recovering in hospital after the ordeal which saw him brought back to life by emergency services.

Miles’ grandmother Ann Solomon, 51, revealed how the youngster stopped breathing after being overcome by smoke and was saved by a fireman.

She said: “We don’t know the fireman’s name, but when the time is right, we want to meet him and personally thank him for what he did.

“I’m just overwhelmed by what happened and we are so grateful to the people who kept him alive.”

Miles was in his bedroom at home in Wentbridge, Witherwack, when fire broke out in his parents’ room.

I’m just overwhelmed by what happened and we are so grateful to the people who kept him alive.

Ann Solomon l

His eight-year-old brother William Roney - the son of Lance Corporal Christopher Roney who was killed in a ‘Friendly Fire’ incident involving a US Apache helicopter in Afghanistan in 2009 - managed to escape on his own, as Miles’ parents Lorna Roney and Adam McBurnie attempted to fight their way up the stairs to reach the toddler.

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.

Miles is recovering from the effects of smoke inhalation in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary and is due to be transferred back to Sunderland Royal.

His family have sent their thanks to those who tried to save him and the firefighters who carried out CPR to get him breathing again.

Lance Corporal Christopher Roney, of 3rd Battalion the Rifles, with his baby boy William.

Lance Corporal Christopher Roney, of 3rd Battalion the Rifles, with his baby boy William.

Ann, who lives across the road from her daughter Lorna, 29, said the rescue effort was launched after the couple, who were downstairs, heard the sounds of a smoke alarm going off.

Ann has been looking after William, who has autism, since the blaze and he has returned to school at Willowfields Primary.

As the family begin to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of the fire, the community is rallying round to ensure the boys get a good Christmas.

She said: “Lorna and Adam tried to get up the stairs but were forced back by the smoke and heat.

“Their faces were black, like they’d been down the pit and others tried to get into the house.

“Miles hadn’t suffered any burns, but it was the smoke and he wasn’t breathing when the firemen got to him.

“We didn’t know at the time they had got him and put him in the back of their cab of the fire engine to work on him.

“We don’t know the fireman’s name, but when the time is right, we want to meet him and personally thank him for what he did.

“I’m just overwhelmed by what happened and we are so grateful to the people who kept him alive.

“I was devastated when I realised what was

happening.

“Lorna said they couldn’t get Miles out and a neighbour tried, quite a few people ran in, but they just couldn’t get through.”

Today Northumbria Police have confirmed that his condition is improving and he is no longer critical.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said the likelihood was that an unattended candle caused the fire.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by relations to raise funds for the family.

The page launched by Demi Keogh, their cousin, says the family has lost clothing and toys in the blaze.

She has urged people to offer their support and adds: “Come on guys it would be a massive massive help just to give this poor family the Christmas they wished for.”

More than £500 has been raised in just a day of the page being set up.

It can be found at https:


//www.gofundme.com/
william-and-miles-funding