It was when Sarah Woods saw Michael Langstreth sat on the wall outside his fire ravaged home that she knew she had to act.

Just seven months after losing his wife, Michael, 60, lost his home and his pet cat Meg in a fire which started in his tumble drier.

Struggling to cope with loss of wife Gillian Wood, a well-known chiropodist, the stroke survivor forgot to renew the insurance on the Mirfield house he had just agreed a sale on.

Sarah, whose parents are neighbours of Michael in Wellhouse Close, saw the widower sat on his garden wall in despair and knew she had to help him.

She said: “I saw Michael sat on the wall looking at his neighbours. It was as if he was saying: ‘Help me.’ I thought how could I not?

Watch Michael describe what happpened - story continues below

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

So Sarah rallied neighbours and tradesmen and set up an online fundraising page to help restore Michael’s home.

And on Saturday – four days after the fire – residents, an electrician, a builder and even Mayor of Mirfield Clr Sean Guy joined volunteers from Mirfield Fire Station to continue the good work.

Volunteers hired a skip and secured the free services of a gas engineer and plumber and, in a scene similar to TV’s DIY SOS, a small army of volunteers got down to stripping out Michael’s gutted kitchen.

Volunteers and Mirfield firefighters clear the house.
Volunteers and Mirfield firefighters clear the house.

Sarah, 27, of Mirfield, said: “One guy, Kevin, has been working nights. He comes home, has a few hours’ sleep and then comes and helps. He’s been here everyday.”

Her mum Lynne Gilbert, 54, said: “It restores your faith in good neighbours. They say people keep themselves to themselves today but it’s not like that here.”

Sarah’s online appeal has so far raised more than £1,500, smashing its £1,000 target.

She hopes that the house will be restored within three weeks so it can be sold for a price close to its original value.

READ MORE: Widower left devastated after tumble dryer fire destroys his home and kills his cat

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Retired sewage plant worker Michael said: “I was only three to four weeks from moving.

“It’s been a hard seven months since my wife died.”

Michael, who is currently living with his elderly parents in Halifax, added: “It’s nice. There’s been an excellent response.

Local tradesmen clear one of the rooms.

“They’re fantastic. I wish I didn’t have to move but I do.”

Michael was watching TV with cat Meg on his lap when his tumble dryer caught fire on Tuesday afternoon.

He tried to tackle the fire in his kitchen but was forced to flee the house.

Meg bolted upstairs and died from the effects of smoke. Firefighters rescued her and attempted resuscitation but it was too late.

To donate go to https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/sarah-woods-1