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MASTIN MOOR; 100 birds die in fire

NDET 22-1-13 RKH 3  Ken Orme and Pete Catherwood  inside the burnt out pidgeon loft.

NDET 22-1-13 RKH 3 Ken Orme and Pete Catherwood inside the burnt out pidgeon loft.

A devastated pigeon fancier says he may be forced to give up his lifetime hobby after a fire killed 100 of his birds and caused £20,000 worth of damage.

A devastated pigeon fancier says he may be forced to give up his lifetime hobby after a fire killed 100 of his birds and caused £20,000 worth of damage.

Pete Catherwood had to watch his pigeon shed go up in flames during the major blaze at his home in Blunt Avenue, Mastin Moor.

Fire fighters fought to save Mr Catherwood’s beloved birds but only eight were rescued from the ashes.

He said: “There were massive flames, I’ve never seen a fire so big.

“A hundred birds, including 35 babies were killed.

“It’s taken me so long to build it all up I don’t know what I’m going to do. It’s such a lot of money to start from the beginning again.”

Mr Catherwood, 53, has been keeping pigeons since he was eight-years-old and is a member of Poolsbrook Homing Society.

He began building his shed in 1999, spending thousands of pounds on birds and equipment.

He added: “I spend possibly six hours a day with them. I race each week around 500 miles and we have been pretty successful.

“I know each bird. Anyone that keeps them will tell you they can tell them all apart.

“I’ve had some for about ten years.”

The fire started at around 5am on Friday, January 18.

Mr Catherwood was alerted to the blaze by a neighbour but by then it was too late to save any of the shed.

Fire fighters worked quickly to stop the flames, which they believe were started by an electrical fault, spreading to the house.

Mr Catherwood added: “It’s been a big part of my life.”

 

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