Man pulled from flat fire ‘fit to return home’, say council

Daniel Halfhide
Daniel Halfhide

A man with special needs who was rescued from a fire in his ninth-floor flat says he is suicidal after being told he must move back.

Daniel Halfhide, 37, spent 11 days in an induced coma suffering from severe smoke inhalation. He now suffers from flashbacks that keep him awake at night.

But despite this, the council says Mr Halfhide is fit to return to the newly renovated flat in Mellish Court, Bletchley, in a matter of weeks.

“The thought of going back there is soul destroying,” said Mr Halfhide.

“I am still getting flashbacks about it now.

“My cat woke me up and I saw the place was full of smoke. I just panicked.

“I wake up in cold sweats thinking that I am back there.”

Since the fire in December, Mr Halfhide has been living with his parents in Furzton while he recovers.

MK Council say they twice offered Mr Halfhide alternate accommodation – one in a first-floor flat days after getting out of hospital and the other in a hostel.

Mum Patricia believes it was too soon for her son to live alone when the first accommodation was offered.

But now, four months on, she fears he will have no choice but to move back into the 18-storey high tower after missing the deadline to appeal against the council’s decision.

She said: “It is heartbreaking and a completely ludicrous decision. It’s all right saying there is limited accomodation, but there must be a solution.

“He just needs somewhere in MK on a ground floor where he can live independently.

“We can’t send him back to that place.”

A council spokesman said: “A full housing assessment has been carried out and Mr Halfhide had the right to request a review, but did not submit one. Mr Halfhide can contact us for advice at any time.”