DIY SOS team moves in after blaze wrecks Michael's home

VOLUNTEERS are restoring a man’s house in Mirfield after it was damaged by fire, so it can be sold as planned.

Michael Langstreth, 60, was weeks away from downsizing when his home on Wellhouse Close went up in flames due to a faulty tumble drier.

The widowed stroke survivor was struggling with the upkeep and forgot to renew his home insurance.

He had just agreed a sale and was planning to move to a smaller flat when the fire gutted his kitchen and caused smoke damage elsewhere.

In addition, Michael’s beloved cat Meg, who bolted upstairs, died as a result of smoke inhalation.

Last Saturday residents, an electrican, plumber, gas engineer, fire fighters and Mayor of Mirfield Coun Sean Guy lent a hand.

It is hoped that repairs, funded by an appeal which has raised £1,500, can be finished in three weeks.

The work will hopefully give retired Michael the chance to sell the property for close to the original valuation.

Michael was struggling to pay the bills after his wife, chiropodist Gillian Wood, died last November.

Campaign organiser Sarah Woods said: “Michael was happy to let the house go for a very reduced price after the fire damage – but we weren’t having it.”

Michael praised his neighbours and said: “They’re fantastic. I wish I didn’t have to move but I do.

“It’s been a hard seven months since my wife died. I was only three to four weeks from moving.”

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