A YOUNG family who were left homeless after a fatal fire a year ago have told of their struggle to rebuild their lives.
Last Christmas was a tough time for 27-year-old Jonathan Jones and his partner Tanya Bremner, 22.
The couple were facing the festive season without a roof over their heads, after a devastating fire broke out at their home on Albert Avenue, Flint – the same day their first child was born.
The blaze on December 12 claimed the life of Jonathan’s 75-year-old grandad Ron Jones, who shared his home with the couple.
Now, more than a year on from the tragedy, Jonathan says he and his family are finally getting back on their feet.
“It has been hard and I have missed my grandad a lot,” he said.
“I started drinking quite a bit afterwards because of it. But I’ve knocked that on the head now, otherwise I would have lost everything.
“We’re trying to move on.”
He added: “We’ve had to move house about three times since the fire, but we’re finally settled now in one of the maisonettes in Flint and we’re hoping to stay here for a while.
“We had to sell my grandad’s house because of financial issues, which I’m gutted about. I would have quite happily lived there and he had left it to me in his will.”
As well as dealing with the aftermath of the fire, the pair have also faced fears about the health of their one-year-old son Leon.
Jonathan, who is currently struggling to search for a job, said: “He’s doing really well now and took his first steps a few days ago, which was fantastic.”
Popular Ron – known as Ronnie Halkyn – never got to meet his great-grandson properly, which Jonathan found hard to deal with.
An inquest into his death heard the fire was sparked by his grandad smoking while using his oxygen machine.
He suffered serious burns when his bed caught fire and died in hospital a week after the blaze.
Jonathan’s brother Damien said their grandad had ‘given up’ after the death of his much-loved wife of 50 years 18 months before.