Tributes to Burnley fire death victim Jimmy

Scene of fatal fire at Kay Gardens, Burnely Wood, Burnely
Scene of fatal fire at Kay Gardens, Burnely Wood, Burnely

A touching tribute has been made to a popular disabled man who died in a fire at his Burnley home.

Mr James Victor Thompson, known to friends as Jimmy, was found dead in his ground floor flat at Kay Gardens, Burnley Wood, following a fire in the early hours of Thursday.

His friend and near neighbour Mr Jimmy Graham (59) described the “good bloke” who had been confined to a wheelchair in recent years.

Mr Graham has taken in his friend’s black labrador Vic, which was rescued unharmed from the blaze by firefighters.

Mr Graham said: “I had known Jimmy for a long time, but got to know him better in recent years through walking his dog.

“He had lived in Kay Gardens for around five years. I had only been round to see him the night before for a chat.

“Jimmy suffered a massive heart attack a few years ago, which affected his mobility and forced him into the wheelchair. He had other health problems which had left him paralysed down one side.

“He did not let the wheelchair stop him getting out though. Jimmy came from the Accrington Road area originally and he still liked to go for a drink down there.

“He used to get a taxi to the General Havelock pub down there which was his favourite but he would also go in the Princess Royal and Burnley Wood Club nearby. We always had a bit of banter together.”

Mr Thompson (57) had previously worked at Lupton and Place in Athletic Street.

He leaves a number of relatives including sister Annetta and a brother.