North East Wales

Great North Run: Fireman enters to help Emmy Taylor, 3

Emmy Taylor
Image caption Emmy Taylor's parents say they are grateful for everything being done

A fireman has joined the Great North Run to raise money for a girl badly burned in a caravan fire.

Tony Reaney and his colleagues in Flint were shocked by the plight of Emmy Taylor, three, who is from the town.

He has a personal connection to the tragedy because he knows her grandmother, Denise Taylor, who works as a paramedic and was also injured.

Emmy's grandfather Rob Taylor, 58, and his son Andy, 26 - Emmy's uncle - died near Barmouth, Gwynedd, in June.

She is still receiving treatment at Alder Hey's children's hospital in Liverpool after the fire in June.

Mr Reaney decided to join Sunday's Great North Run, the half-marathon between Newcastle and South Shields.

"The paramedics are in the building next door to the fire station, and we've dealt with numerous traumatic events together over the years," he said.

"All of the crew were shocked and saddened by the tragic news of Rob and Andy's deaths, and our thoughts and prayers have been with Emmy and her family from the moment we heard about it," he said.

Image caption Tony Reaney says knowing his goal pushed him on with his training

Emmy is still receiving treatment at Alder Hey's children's hospital in Liverpool after the fire in June.

He said he hoped to raise as much money as possible with his run to make her life easier when she comes home.

The father-of-two, who also works for nuclear fuel company Urenco, said it was a challenge to fit training runs around his different work commitments.

"I'm quite a chunky lad, not built for running, but I have the stamina, and even on a training run knowing what the goal is helps me push myself that bit further so I can raise as much money as possible," he said.

"The nature of what happened hit a lot of people and even though I have seen horrific things in my 10 years as a fireman it still affects you."

He said the community had been affected by the tragedy and wanted to help the family in any way possible.

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