A FAMILY in South Kirkby has lost everything - including their two beloved pet dogs - after a fish tank caused a fire in their house.
Leanne and John Daley returned to their Stockingate home after going out to a barbecue on Saturday night and opened the back door to find see the tank ablaze in the corner of the room.
Mr Daley, 42, tried to save his two Westie dogs, Charlie and Snowy, but was overcome by the fire and had to be taken to hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation.
The couple and their two boys, Benjamin, 11, and Matthew, six, have been left with no clothes, toys or personal belongings and are having to stop with a family member.
Members of the community have rallied round to help by launching an appeal for unwanted or outgrown items, particularly for the children.
Anyone who wants to donate can drop items off at the Little Owls Children’s Centre, Common Road, South Kirkby.
Mrs Daley, 38 said: “We have lost everything. We are still trying to come to terms with it. Snowy and Charlie were part of the family - Benjamin had grown up with Snowy, who was 14. We lost our fish as well.
“Our youngest hasn’t really grasped what has happened but our oldest isn’t dealing with it at all. We opened the door and they saw the flames and everything. He keeps crying and being sick.
“My main concern was getting them to safety.
“But we were lucky because the firefighters told us if it had happened while we were sleeping we wouldn’t still be here.
“Our boys have nothing left and our family has started an appeal for unwanted items.
“They need clothes and something to help keep their mind off what has happened - anything would be appreciated.
“The neighbours were all absolutely amazing and I would like to thank them for all their help on the night.”
Mr Daley said: “We had been to a barbecue and came home to be greeted by a black cloud of smoke. I knew I had to go in for the dogs - I call them my lads - and I was shouting for them to come to me.
“I held my breath and crawled through the living room and saw the fish tank ablaze in the corner.
“I managed to get into the bedrooms as well but I couldn’t find them. I just couldn’t see for all the smoke.
“I was told when I got out of hospital that we had lost them both. We are all devastated.”
Firefighters from Hemsworth, South Elmsall and Featherstone attended the incident, which happened at around 10.30pm. Crews used one hose reel, two breathing apparatus and a high pressure ventilation unit to extinguish the blaze.