She lost her husband and home in a fire. Now she has nowhere to go

Antonia Zenkevitch-Hunt (R) and Dan Hunt (L) in selfie with sun on faces in park with trees behind
-Credit: (Image: Antonia Zenkevitch-Hunt)

A disabled woman whose husband died in a flat fire in Nottingham faces being homeless if she leaves hospital, having lost her home in the tragedy. Wheelchair user Antonia Zenkevitch-Hunt clambered out of a third-floor window to escape the flames that took the life of her husband Daniel on December 1, 2023.

She was treated at Queen's Medical Centre before being moved to Lings Bar Hospital in Gamston for recovery. She was ready to leave in March - but, due to her previous home being gutted and no accommodation having been sorted for her, she's remained living at the hospital ever since.

Now, the hospital - which Antonia vehemently maintains is not to blame - has faced no choice but to serve her with an eviction notice. And if she isn't out soon, she will face legal action to remove her from the grounds.

A friend told Nottinghamshire Live: "Unfortunately it's just the process the hospital has had to go through. They didn't want to do it at all and really, really tried to avoid it. Services need to step in and do their job. Hopefully the eviction will give them the kick to do what they needed to do months ago. It's a lot of frustration. She's been really let down. This whole thing has re-traumatised her."

It was around 7.30pm on December 1 last year when the fire broke out at the Watcombe Circus flat in Carrington. Antonia's miraculous escape left her with a number of serious injuries, including broken bones, and she was left wearing a neck brace as she recovered.

Her husband Dan, 47, was pronounced dead at the scene. In hospital, she had to deal with the trauma of losing him, as well as her own devastating situation.

She recovered well from her injuries and was fit to be discharged in March. But while Antonia, her friends and her family had contacted services to try to ensure a new home was ready for her, they had not been successful.

With nowhere else to go, Antonia had no choice but to remain at Lings Bar, a rehabilitation centre which usually caters for older patients aged 65 and over. Stays at the residence are usually 30 days long.

Staff at the hospital were "phenomenal", a friend said. She explained they had gone "above and beyond" for Antonia, taking home her laundry to do it for her after long shifts, checking in on her, chatting to her, crying with her, holding her hand and even helping to look for private accommodation.

Antonia had her own room, was fed and was free to leave and come back if she needed to, which she did in a wheelchair with help. But April came and went, and then May, and still no accommodation had been sorted.

On June 6, the hospital served Antonia with an eviction notice by letter, which gave her a deadline, seven days from the date of issue, to vacate the bed. But with nowhere to go, she has remained and is still fighting to find somewhere to stay - and the hospital may have to take legal action if she doesn't vacate.

A fundraiser has now been set up to help with potential legal and accommodation costs. You can donate here.