Birmingham blast: woman killed in house blast, mother dubbed ‘heart of pure gold’

Doreen Rees-Bibb, 79, a mother with a “heart of pure gold” died while her partner David Murphy remains in hospital after the horrific home explosion

A woman killed in a devastating house explosion has been named for the first time as her partner fights for his life in hospital.

Doreen Rees-Bibb, 79, has been described by her family as a mother with a “heart of pure gold” after losing her life in Sunday night’s horrific incident.

Emergency services swarmed along Dulwich Road in Kingstanding, Birmingham, just after 8.30pm, with nearby residents evacuating.

It is after one property was destroyed while three others were damaged in a suspected gas explosion.

Heroic residents have previously described scrambling past burning rubble, dust and debris to pull an injured man alive from the ruins of the blasted home.

However, West Midlands Fire Brigade confirmed this morning that a woman was found dead at the scene. In a tweet, they added, “Our thoughts and sympathies are with everyone affected.”

Doreen Rees-Bibb did not survive the fire, an unnamed family member said The sun that she was “the life and soul of the party”.

She has been described as someone who is “full of warmth and love” and has “a heart of pure gold.”

Her partner, David Murphy, who owns the house, was pulled from the rubble by heroic neighbors and is in hospital in a life-threatening condition.

The three bedroom townhouse was recently sold for £160,000 by Paul Carr Estate Agents of Birmingham.

In this aerial view, emergency services are at work following a suspected gas explosion at the scene in Dulwich Road, Kingstanding


(Getty Images)

Aerial photos of the crime scene show a red “SOLD” sign in the rubble. The company’s website states in the property details: “Boiler needs repair/replacement.”

The West Midlands Fire Service previously said it could be “days” before they discover the exact cause of the deadly gas blast.

A spokesman said: “It could be days before the exact cause of a deadly gas explosion in Kingstanding is known.

“The investigation into a very challenging scene continues.”

West Midlands Police said the cause of the blast was still unknown. However, according to unconfirmed reports, it was caused by gas.

The consequences of the explosion


(Getty Images)

A clip of the horrific incident can be seen by onlookers watching the flames before suddenly fleeing.

People as far away as Sutton Coldfield report hearing the blast with emergency calls made at 8:38pm Sunday night.

Police have since thanked those who “helped shocked and injured neighbors”.

The West Midlands Fire Service said 25 firefighters and six fire engines were dispatched to the scene.

The scene of a dramatic house explosion on Dulwich Road in Kingstanding, Birmingham



A police spokesman said: “Obviously these are very sad and tragic circumstances and as has been confirmed there has been one death and one critically ill man is currently hospitalized. He is critical.

“Just want to say a huge thank you, there was some heroic action from the community members last night. I want to thank the community.

“We have some really strong relationships with the community and we will continue to work to support them in these tragic circumstances and to provide them with the support they need.”

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