A huge blaze ripped through a family home last night, killing five dogs, and causing an inaugural community charity event to be cancelled.
Firefighters from Chesterfield and Matlock attended High Ashes Farm, Highashes Lane, Ashover, at about 10pm, along with police and ambulance services.
The owner of the home, Philip Coates, said that three of the main rooms are completely “gutted” and the home is now uninhabitable.
The farm was set to host a 5km/10km Mud Run event on Saturday, as part of High Ashes Rural Project, which supports people with learning disabilities.
The five dogs killed are a mix of cairn terriers and cairn doodles - which was assistance dogs used by the charity.
“One of the guys who came to board it up said that it was one of the worst he has seen,” Mr Coates said.
“The fire burnt three of the main rooms.
“The house is not fit to live in.
“There was sentimental items in the house.”
Mr Coates returned to his home last night, while his wife Vanessa and Georgina were upstairs in the property watching television.
“I went to watch television and opened the door and it was just an inferno,” Mr Coates said.
“I rang the fire service straight away.
“There was a bit of a panic because they ran out of water and had to take some from our big pond.”
The High Ashes Rural Project helps people with learning disabilities for the “improvement of people’s health, social and wellbeing improvement.”
The Mud Run, which was set to be attended by 70 people tomorrow (Saturday) has now been postponed for a later date in April. Plans have been place for the event since October last year.
Money raised from the event was going to be spent on the High Ashes project.
Mr Coates says he is now planning on setting-up a fundraising drive and has urged anyone who can help to come forward.
“I am very upset, I just watch to get up and carry on with the project.
“We just want to support people.”
“I would like to say thank you to Peak Edge hotel who are accomodating us and 1st Highfield Scouts (St Andrews) who have brought us a big tent.
“Me and my family are all fine.”
more to follow.