A suspected arson attack on a dogs’ home which left more than 50 animals dead has been described as “sickening” and “harrowing” by staff and firefighters.
A fund set up following Thursday night’s fire has already raised more than £1m and money is still rolling in.
The blaze at the Manchester Dogs Home, in the Harpurhey area of the city, provoked a huge outpouring of local concern when it broke it just after 7pm.
Some people living in the area tried desperately to break into the compound after a passing police officer raised the alarm.
And, after more than 30 firefighters began to tackle the fire, hundreds of people rallied round to provide refreshments, animal food and other help for the dogs that were rescued.
Police are continuing to question a 15-year-old boy arrested last night on suspicion of arson. Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said 53 dogs had died, while about 150 were rescued.
The rescued dogs have been taken to the centre’s sister site near Warrington, in Cheshire.
Lisa Graham, from the home, said the local community has always supported the centre as the city grew around the site over the last 120 years. She said: “We saw that last night. We saw that community out in droves.”
Detective Inspector Neil Jones said: “I’m treating it as an arson investigation at the moment based on the extent of the fire and the initial outpouring from the community and some of the information we’ve been provided with so far.”