Woman, 79, believed to have died in Birmingham gas explosion

The victim of a gas explosion in 伯明翰 that destroyed a house and seriously damaged three others is understood to be Doreen Rees-Bibb.

The 79-year-old was killed in the blast in Kingstanding on Sunday and it is believed a man who was pulled alive from the rubble by neighbours was her partner.

He suffered life-threatening injuries and remains in hospital in a critical condition, West Midlands police said.

In a post on Facebook, Doreen’s daughter Karen Bibb said: “We are so devastated that me and my sister have lost our mother in a fire, it’s the most terrible way to die. Miss mom so much we do.”

Emergency services praised the “heroic” actions of about a dozen men who ran through burning debris to rescue a man from the rubble after hearing him shouting for help.

They carried him to safety on a mattress that had been blown out of a neighbouring property but were unable to reach a woman who the man said remained trapped.

Ch Insp Kelly Monaghan of West Midlands police praised the “really heroic actions from members of the community”.

Kiera Parkinson, whose boyfriend Callum Attwood was among those who helped at the scene, 说: “We’re so proud of literally every single person that risked their lives to go in there and help somebody else. What a community.”

The fire service said investigations into the cause of the explosion were ongoing and could take some time. Area commander Alex Shaplan said it “was clear that a gas explosion had taken place” and that a suggestion the property’s boiler had needed replacing before the fire “may form part of the investigation”.

The property was reduced to rubble and the homes either side were left with shattered windows and doors blown out. Eight homes are uninhabitable either because they are too badly damaged or without gas.

多于 20 people were evacuated nearby and a handful were treated at the scene for minor wounds.