A community has united to help a South Tyneside man who has been left homeless after his caravan was destroyed in a blaze.
Michael King had moved into his new home at Lizard Lane Caravan Park, in South Shields, just days before the fire broke out at 1.15am on Thursday.
The blaze, which happened on the 26-year-old’s birthday, destroyed every possession he owned.
Firefighters from South Shields station said Michael owed his life to a smoke alarm, which enabled him to escape and also gave him time to remove gas canisters which were nearby.
The cause of the fire is under investigation but it’s thought it was sparked by a faulty log burner
Now friends have set up a Crowdfunding page to help Michael.
They want to raise £5,000 to help him buy new van.
Already 42 people have donated and so far £1,155 has been raised.
Michael, who is thankful to have not been injured during the ordeal, said: “I’d just like to thank everyone who has supported me through this tough time.
“Knowing how loyal and kind my friends and family are to me is all I need. It was only material things any way, I still have my health.
“It’s nice to see so much positivity as the world doesn’t get enough of it.”
Watch manager Kevin Williams added: “The smoke alarm saved his life, if I’m completely honest.
“He had popped in the bedroom to check something and had dozed off. The smoke alarm has alerted him and he has woken to find the whole caravan full of smoke.”
To donate, visit https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/MichaelK