Tributes to 61 year old who died in house collapse near Ramsbottom

Credit: MEN Syndication

The scene of devastation in Summerseat

The terraced block showing extent of damage

A woman who died following a devastating house explosion in Bury hasbeen named as Hazel Wilcock.

Tributes have poured in for the 61 year-old, who was tragically founddead at her house on East View in Summerseat on Thursday, 18 February.

Her mid-terraced property was reduced to rubble following the blast.Emergency services rushed to the quiet residential village shortlyafter 9.20pm on Wednesday night.

Sadly, the body of Hazel was found by fire crews as they conducted asearch of the wreckage.

A file in relation to her death has been passed to Rochdale Coroner'sCourt, a spokesperson confirmed.

The cause of the explosion and subsequent collapse is still beinginvestigated by police and Greater Manchester Fire Service.Scores of friends and neighbours have paid tribute to Hazel, who isunderstood to have worked as a counsellor for St Ann's Hospice.

Neighbour, June Winsche, said she had met Hazel through the villagecommittee and from walking their dogs together."She had lots of friends and loved entertaining and I'd always beinvited over for meals," June told the Manchester Evening News ."She cared for my dogs when I was away and even took in my son when wehad to temporarily move out of our home when we had renovations done."Hazel was just so kind. We went on retreats together and she tooktime with me when I was going through a very bad time."She was a counsellor so had amazing listening skills and I am awareshe helped a lot more people."She was very inspirational and pushed me to start my own businessbecause she believed in me so much."

Close friend, Amanda Webber, wrote on Facebook: "A beautiful soulinside and out."It was a pleasure to have known you and to have worked for you, mayyou Rest in eternal peace and your smile shine down on us all."You shall be sadly missed by all who knew you.R.I.P Hazel xx."

Andrea Procter wrote: "Hazel you were such an inspiration and fantastic friend."Devastating news. So sad."

Paul Kent wrote: "It was always 'Paul,you better have brought mesomething nice'....RIP Hazel, lovely lady!"Nick Wood said: "RIP Hazel, a lovely lady and valued customer of mine."

Five other people were injured in the blast, including a woman and achild, who were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Several properties were evacuated as a precaution, with most residentsreturning by Thursday lunchtime.

A huge cordon was put in place while a mass clean-up of the rubble began.Police say the cordon could be in place for several days.

A number of floral tributes have been left at the scene of thetragedy, which has sent shock waves through the local community.

A joint investigation is underway and police and the fire service are keeping an 'open mind' about the cause of the tragedy.

A fundraiser has also been launched to support those affected by theexplosion, you can donatehere: