Alun Jones pictured in the late 80s
An inquest has failed to fully explain how a much-loved musician died after a fire broke out at his flat in Gillingham.
Drummer Alun Gwynne Jones, 47, died in September after being rescued from a block of flats in James Street at 3am by firefighters.
An inquest into his death, held yesterday, has recorded an open conclusion.
Coroner Patricia Harding heard how Mr Jones was found lying between two seats of fire – one at the foot of a bed and another on an armchair. The fire is believed to have been started by a naked flame. Attempts to resuscitate him at the scene were unsuccessful.
The inquest also heard Mr Jones had a history of alcoholism and depression which started after he separated from his former wife, but family and friends said he had seemed better than ever just before his death.
Chris Williams, who lived in the same block of flats, told the hearing: “He was going for job interviews and was asking ladies out on dates. He was doing well. He kept getting knocked back by employers though.
"I saw him a couple of days before the fire looking out of his front window. He poked his tongue out at me. That was Alun’s sense of humour.”
The flat in James Street where Alun Jones died
A post mortem revealed he had not been drinking on the night of his death, but had high levels of carbon monoxide in his blood, consistent with smoke inhalation.
Recording an open conclusion, coroner Ms Harding said: “Alun Jones suffered from depression and had done so for some significant time.
"There is some evidence that in 2007 and 2012 he had expressed suicidal thoughts. I have heard evidence he was a drinker and evidence that he hadn’t consumed alcohol at the time of his death.
"There is no indication that Alun Jones was severely depressed at the time of his death. I’m unable to say why or how the fire happened.”
Paying tribute to Mr Jones, his brother-in-law Michael Durkin, said: “He was a very generous and caring person with a great sense of humour.
"It was clear at his funeral that he will be greatly missed by a lot of people.”
The cause of death was recorded as inhalation of fire fumes.