Pets saved as blaze spreads from torched trees

LUCKY ...  Yvonne Pocklington managed to keep her rabbits safe during the fire.
LUCKY ... Yvonne Pocklington managed to keep her rabbits safe during the fire.

A WOMAN’S pet rabbits had a lucky escape after trees in a field next to her home in South Tyneside were torched.

Conifers and bushes in the field at the back of Crieff Grove, on the Scotch Estate, Jarrow, were set on fire at 8pm on Tuesday.

The flames quickly spread to Yvonne Pocklington’s back garden, where her family’s rabbits, Clover and Willow, live.

The 50-year-old was indoors, with daughter Ashleigh, 17, when they both heard something.

Mrs Pocklington said: “We could hear a crackling noise and didn’t know what it was.

“Then we looked out of the window into the garden and saw all these floating bits coming down, which we soon realised was ash.”

The pair dashed out into the garden to cover the rabbit cages and they rang 999.

Within minutes, the plastic tarpaulin was covered in burn holes – but the animals were safe in their hutches.

The flames, which could be seen by drivers along the A19, were soon extinguished by firefighters from South Shields fire station in John Reid Road.

Mrs Pocklington said: “You can see how hot the ash must have been, as it’s melted right through the covering we put over.

“It’s just as well we were in as the rabbits could have been injured, it’s just the trees which have been well and truly burnt.

“There’s not normally any bother with the field, there’s never any kids hanging about, and we’ve not seen anything odd recently.

“We’re not sure what’s happened.”