THE family of a well-loved grandfather who died after a horrific blaze at his home has paid an emotional tribute to him.

An inquest last week returned a verdict of accidental death after Ronald Jones, 75, died nine days after the fire at his home in Albert Avenue, Flint, on December 12.

Speaking after the verdict grandson Damian Jones, who lived with his grandfather for a number of years while he was growing up, paid tribute and described him as being “like a dad to me”.

He said: “I went to live with him when I was seven after my dad died. All the other grandchildren loved him and he loved them. He brought me up to be respectable and to be a family man.”

The fire was caused by Mr Jones smoking in bed but no conclusive evidence was found that an oxygen tank which he was using contributed to the fire.

The retired JCB driver had been rocked by the sudden death of Lillian, his wife of 49 years, from an aneurysm in 2008.

Damian, who along with other family members provided full-time care for Mr Jones, said: “The fire was devastating. It was not the way we thought he should have gone. Her death was a shock. That hit him hard. They were very happy together.”

Retained firefighter Tommy Probert pulled Mr Jones from the fire despite breaking his own leg in the process. He was presented with a plaque by Flint Town Council, and the entire crew from Flint fire station was also given a plaque in honour of their bravery.

Damian said: “We are very grateful. We want to thank Tommy from the bottom of our hearts. It is extraordinary for someone to do that.”

Mr Jones had also suffered two strokes and had a serious chest condition which the coroner said made it impossible for him to recover from the effects of the fire.