FRIENDS are rallying to help a family who lost everything after the Cramlington flat they were living in went up in flames.
Tommy Tyler was alone at the address in High Pit Road when the blaze broke out just before 3pm on Easter Sunday.
The 40-year-old managed to escape from an upstairs window before being rescued by firefighters.
He was taken to Wansbeck General Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation and burns to his airways.
Tommy was visiting his partner Michelle Thompson, who rented the flat and lived there with their three-month-baby girl and her two young sons.
Michelle, 30, and her children were at her sister’s house around the corner at the time of the incident, however.
The blaze has completely destroyed the flat.
Friends and neighbours have now started a collection of clothing and toys for the family.
Michelle’s sister Kerry Crouth, 37, said: “I am just really grateful for the help people are giving my sister and her family.
“They came to stay with me with just the clothes on their backs. They lost everything.
“I am grateful that the children were not there because I don’t think they would have come out alive.
“The community are really pulling together.
“People have been giving clothes for the baby and the boys. We would just like to thank everyone.”
The home and the vacant shop below belong to Nabila and Jock Khaliq, who run the Premier Mini Market across the street.
The couple’s daughter Kamilah, 21, witnessed the fire and rescue.
She said: “I was standing around the back of the flat and saw the caretaker from next door rescue Tommy.
“He got him out the back window and onto the roof.
“There is quite a lot of damage.
“When the fire brigade got up and smashed the window you saw huge flames burst out.”
Tommy and Michelle’s friends have set up a Facebook group entitled ‘Donations to Tommy Tyler and Michelle Thompson’ which has already seen people offering them everything from a Moses basket and clothing to a washing machine and a microwave.
Paul Langdown, station manager at Hexham Fire Station said: “I can confirm that two fire appliances from West Hartford Community Fire Station attended a fire in a first floor flat in High Pit Road, Cramlington, on Sunday afternoon.
“With the assistance of the local community, one male occupant was walked to safety and handed to North East Ambulance Service.
“The cause of the fire is being investigated.
“Can I remind the public to check their smoke alarms are working.
“If anyone needs a smoke alarm or wants a home fire safety check then please contact your local fire station.”