Tributes pour in for grandmother killed in Birmingham house explosion

Tributes have poured in for the "one-of-a-kind" grandmother who was killed in a gas explosion at a house in Birmingham.

Doreen Rees-Bibb. Photo from Facebook
Doreen Rees-Bibb. Photo from Facebook

Doreen Rees-Bibb, aged 79, died when a gas explosion destroyed her Dulwich Road home in Kingstanding on Sunday evening, her partner is currently being treated for serious injuries in hospital.

Doreen had only recently moved into the house in Kingstanding, the "sold" sign can be seen in the wreckage, and the online sale listing included information that the house "needed a new boiler".

The OnTheMarket website stated the boiler was in need of repair

Daughter Karen Bibb led the tributes to her mother, she said: "We are so devastated that me and my sister have lost our mother Doreen in a fire, it’s the most terrible way to die.

"We miss mum so much."

The aftermath of the explosion

Doreen was a popular figure in Erdington and Kingstanding and social media has been flooded of memories of her and messages of support for the family.

Alex Stanley said: "RIP beautiful, you were such an angel. I’m absolutely heartbroken, I love you Doreen. Thoughts to all your family and friends at this tragic time."

Michelle Weller added: "I just can’t believe it, I am absolutely gutted, our Doreen was one of a kind and will be greatly missed."

Gary Neale said: "Doreen was my friend, she was a lovely lady."

Several other homes were damaged in the blast forcing more than 20 residents to stay in emergency accommodation. Fundraising campaigns have already begun collecting money and goods for those made homeless.

West Midlands Fire Service spokesman said: "Our thoughts and sympathies remain with everyone affected by the incident.

"We’re grateful to members of the local community for their ongoing support and understanding while our work at the scene continues."

The spokesman added: "The Investigators from West Midlands Fire Service are working closely with West Midlands Police and gas specialists to try to establish why the explosion happened.

"Members of our Technical Rescue Unit continue to monitor the stability of neighbouring structures, to ensure that the work can be carried out safely. They will be carefully excavating areas in the remains of the house, so parts of its gas supply can be accessed and examined."

"This work needs to be carried out safely, slowly and methodically. As a result, we expect to remain at the scene throughout today.

"A 100-metre cordon is still in place and a section of Dulwich Road closed."

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