Support helps family to cope

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Heartbroken relatives of a family who died in a house fire say fundraisers are giving them the strength to carry on.

Josie Leighton, aged 32, and her sons Tyler and Jordan Green, aged nine and 12, died in an electrical fire at a house in Williamthorpe Road, North Wingfield, Derbyshire, along with her friend Claire James, aged 27.

Claire’s seven-year-old daughter Tia inhaled smoke but escaped with her life during the blaze in the early hours of Wednesday, November 20.

Claire’s funeral took place at St Lawrence’s Church, North Wingfield, on Wednesday.

The Reverend Colin Cooper, who led the service, said: “A huge amount of compassion and kindness has been shown by the people of North Wingfield.”

Josie’s mum Lynn Leighton and Lynn’s sister Jayne, both 53, said they were overwhelmed by the kindness of those who raised £12,000 at a sponsored march for the families and a trust appeal for Tia.

Jayne said: “Every day we have just been existing and plodding on, but when we saw so many doing so much it made us think we have to keep going and put something back into life.

“We owe it to everyone to keep going.

“Josie loved her boys so much. She was such a lovely person.

“She has been part of the North Wingfield community all her life.”

Danette Bradder – a friend of both families – launched a fundraising drive to pay for their funerals while Grassmoor resident Lee Forester began an appeal for Tia.

The funeral of Josie and her sons is taking place today at 2pm at St Lawrence’s Church, North Wingfield.