Tributes for mum, 79, with 'heart of pure gold' who was killed in horror explosion at house ‘with faulty boiler' | The Sun

MOVING tributes have been paid to a mum killed in a horror gas blast at a home fitted with a boiler that was 'in need of replacement'.

Doreen Rees-Bibb died last night when the blast tore through the property – leaving her buried under several feet of rubble.

Her partner David Murphy, who owns the house, was pulled from the wreckage by hero neighbours in Birmingham, West Mids.

He remains in hospital in a "life-threatening" condition.

A family member, who didn’t want to be named, called Doreen, 79, "the life and soul of the party".

“She was full of warmth and love, and she had a heart of pure gold. We are all distraught," they added.

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“She was almost 80 but she was still full of life. She was really happy with Dave. 

“We don’t know what’s happened, if there was a gas leak or some kind of fault. We are just waiting for answers.”

David's niece Terri Ann Noble, 42, a full time mum from Stockton-on-Tees, told The Sun: "David is a lovely man, he's so funny and he'll do anything for anybody. 

"His children Dean and Kate will be going through hell right now, they absolutely adore him, they love him to bits.

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"He hasn't been the same since my Auntie Lynn died from breast cancer a few years back and it's just awful that he's going through this right now.

"We're all hoping he's okay and pulls through."

Horrified witnesses described hearing David's bone-chilling cries of "please save my missus, she's still inside" as he was rescued.

Hero neighbour Callum Attwood described pulling David out from underneath the collapsed second floor.

And witness Kashif Mahmood said he the casualty scream: "Please save my missus, she's still inside."

The dad-of-two said: "The guys couldn't go inside because the fire was so bad.

"They waited for the firefighters to arrive and they got in and took the woman outside but she was not in a good condition.


"I found out this morning on the news [that she died]. That's really really sad and I feel so sorry for her family."

Brave Callum told the Sun: "I’m just glad we got the one man out. He said his partner was still inside.

"We tried to get to her but the flames and heat was too much and the fire service had started to do their job."

Another hero, who declined to give his name, said: "Everyone was watching, the house was on fire, nobody was going in, so we could see a way in – so we went in the house, me and about a dozen others.

"There was a guy in the back, we could hear the guy screaming, but he was trapped up against the fridge in the kitchen.

"His clothes had been blown off, you couldn't even see him, he was covered in blood.

"We managed to get to him, and pull him out – I still have his blood on my jeans.

Doreen was full of warmth and love, and she had a heart of pure gold. We are all distraught

"He was going 'don't pull me – my legs' and I said 'mate, we're going to have to take you out now'.

"The dust from the loft insulation was burning around us.

"We got him out, he ended up coming out on a mattress.

"But he was saying there was a woman in the house."

It has since emerged that the three-bedroom terraced house was due a new boiler shortly before the explosion. However, the cause of the blast has not yet been determined, and an investigation will take place.

The property was recently sold for £160,000 by Birmingham-based Paul Carr Estate Agents.

On the firm’s website, the property's particulars states: "Boiler requires repair / replacement."

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A neighbour alleged the price had recently been slashed because of substantial maintenance needed in the house. 

The fire service says the cause is believed to be a gas explosion.

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