‘Grief-stricken’ family say thanks to communities after huge blaze kills dogs and cats

High Ashes Farm Ashover, Philip Coates with Snow one of his two surviving dogs
High Ashes Farm Ashover, Philip Coates with Snow one of his two surviving dogs

A heartbroken family have thanked communities for their generosity after a huge blaze ripped through their home, killing five dogs and two cats.

Firefighters attended High Ashes Farm, Highashes Lane, Ashover, at about 10pm, on Thursday, March 17.

The farm was set to host a 5km/10km Mud Run event, as part of High Ashes Rural Project, which supports people with learning disabilities.

The five dogs killed were a mix of cairn terriers and cairn doodles - which was assistance dogs used by the not-for-profit organisation. Five new-born puppies and their mother were saved.

Homeowner Philip Coates, whose wife Vanessa and daughter Georgina, aged 22, were upstairs at the time of the fire, said: “The support from everyone has got us through it.

“We loved the dogs and the cats.

“We did everything we could to save them. We are grief stricken.”

Following the fire, Mr Coates said thanks to all members of the Business Network International, including Geoff Hagin of Barkers Locksmiths, Chesterfield, and Marcus Rhodes of Greenfrog Computing, Wingerworth.

The Mud Run has been rearranged for Saturday, April 23, at 11am.