THE parents of two-year-old Jamie Heaton, who died in an explosion in Shaw, Greater Manchester, have paid tribute to their son.
Michelle and Ken Heaton said in a statement: “Our little man Jamie was a happy little boy, mischievous and full of laughter.
“He adored his family, his brother and sister Jack and Jodie, they loved their cuddles and play fighting.
“Jamie was unique and amazing. We will miss everything about him.”
The couple hugged each other as they visited a makeshift shrine of flowers from well-wishers as the statement was read on their behalf by Detective Chief Inspector Pete Marsh, from Greater Manchester Police.
Jamie was killed and neighbour Andrew Partington, 27, suffered serious burns as Tuesday’s blast flattened their homes and damaged scores of other houses.
Jamie died while watching TV in his home but his mother miraculously survived after stepping out to hang out washing in the yard.
Mr Partington remains unconscious and sedated at Wythenshawe Hospital, where he is being treated for serious burns.
A 32-year-old maintenance man who is understood to have checked the boiler at Mr Partington’s rented home has been bailed by police following his arrest for manslaughter.
Continuing with the statement DCI Marsh said: “We are overwhelmed by the support we have had.
“We would like to thank our families for the enormous support that they have offered.”
The couple thanked the community, local authority and businesses for their support and kindness and praised the bravery of emergency services.
The statement continued: “Our thoughts are also with our neighbours whose lives have also been turned upside down over the last few days.
“We are going to miss our little man.”
Charlie Parker, chief executive of Oldham Council, said there were a number of properties in the immediate blast area which would have to be demolished.