A pigeon fancier has been left devastated after more than 20 of his prized birds were killed in a fire.
Mark Palmer, aged 55, was woken by a neighbour after his pigeon shed went up in flames at his home on Talbot Street, Pinxton.
He managed to save 18 of his birds, but 23 were killed in the blaze.
Arsonists are being blamed for the fire which started in a car, before spreading to Mr Palmer’s shed on Saturday, July 15, shortly after 1.30am.
Mr Palmer said: “I have lost 23 of my old racing team – that is all of my team gone.
“It have been my hobby since I was aged nine.
“The lady across the road woke me up after she noticed a ball of flame on my neighbour’s car and told me the shed was on fire.
“I moved my car first, because it was close to the fire.
“I rescued 18 birds, but I couldn’t get anymore because the firefighters wouldn’t let me go back in.
“A few flew out and five survived the fire.”
Police are now investigating the fire.
A Derbyshire Police spokesman said: “The investigation is currently ongoing.”
n Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call Derbyshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 137 of July 15, or, alternatively, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.