AN ANIMAL lover has told how he put himself at risk as he fought to save his beloved birds and dog from a fierce fire.
Ray Millo, of Mostyn Road, Greenfield, told the Leader of the devastation a suspected arson attack on a barn caused to an aviary he kept at the back of the building.
His family, including 10-week old grandson Noah, all narrowly escaped the blaze, which North Wales Police are treating as suspicious.
While saving his deaf dalmatian Libby, eight, from her kennel outside the house, Mr Millo, 41, saw his prized collection of birds wiped out.
He said: “My dog would not move. I grabbed her and saw the aviary was on fire three feet from me.
“Without thinking I ran through the flames holding Libby. I didn’t stop until I was behind my house and put the dog safe.
“At this point I looked back at the barn and watched it collapse on to my aviary. All the birds were lost.”
Mr Millo’s aviary housed four java sparrows and was at the back of the barn by agreement with Bodlondeb Farm manager David Williams, who earlier this week told the Leader “people could have been killed” by the blaze.
The fire destroyed a cage worth about £800 and cost Mr Millo potential financial benefits from breeding the birds.
He believes he will not be able to resume his passion in the foreseeable future.
He said: “I had recently painted the aviary and put a new roof on it. I was looking
forward to the breeding season in the spring. The birds are my favourite hobby. I will not be able to enjoy that for some time now until the barn is built again.
“If this was arson, then it is very sad that someone would show total disregard for others. We are grateful to passers-by who did all they could to make sure we escaped from the fire.”
Mr Millo and his family have only been living in the property for two months.
His wife Tracy, 42, adult sons Luke, Ben and Jack, grandson Noah and Ben’s partner Chloe, were all asleep in the house when the fire broke out on Saturday.
They were woken shortly after 6am by the heat and climbed over a fence to safety with the help of passers-by.
The fire service arrived shortly before Mr Millo believes the house would have caught fire.
Anyone with information on the incident should contact North Wales Police on 0845 6071001 (Welsh language), 0845 6071002 (English), 101 (if in Wales), or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.