A WOMAN has paid tribute to the emergency services and brave members of the public after a serious fire caused major damage to her family home.

Crews from Allendale, Hexham, and Haltwhistle tackled the blaze at Mandy Charlton’s home in Market Place, Allendale on Saturday.

The fire caused substantial damage and spread to a neighbouring house. Fortunately, nobody was in at the time – and the quick thinking of onlookers saved the lives of the family’s three dogs and a cat.

Mandy thanked fire crews for their efforts, and also praised the actions of local residents James Hill, Jordan Bailey, and Kieran Soanes.

She said: “We’re still in shock. We’d just left the house minutes beforehand, and within 15 minutes we had a call to say the house was on fire.

“I’m so grateful to everybody – the fire service, and those people who saved my animals.

“Jordan was amazing – he went up so fast, people were amazed.”

Jordan managed to scale the drainpipe of the house to rescue one of Mandy’s dogs from an upstairs window.

Describing the rescue, he said: “It was pretty crazy. We were waiting in line for the Co-op when we saw black smoke.

“Kieran and I kicked down the door and two dogs ran out, but then we heard the windows go.

“We could see one of the dogs at the top window. I climbed up the drainpipe and shimmied along the window ledge, and managed to get my hand on the dog and get it out.

“My hand was black from touching it – the animals all just lay on the side on the grass.”

In the aftermath, a crowd-funder was set up to support the family by local resident Matty Robson.

The page aimed to raise £1,000, but has already raised more than £4,200.

Mandy continued: “The fund-raiser was amazing.

"It’s very sad to see your house go up, but people are so generous giving so much.

“On Saturday we had people coming in bringing clothes, money and food.

“They’re absolutely incredible.

"Allendale is a fantastic place to love, everybody is just fantastic.”

On Tuesday, Mandy and other residents thanked fire crews in the village for their efforts with a round of applause at the village fire station.

A Facebook post made by the team said they were “humbled” by the display.

Donations can be made at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/matty-robson.