Towns unite in fire tragedy

Scene of the tragedy.
Scene of the tragedy.

The people of Leighton-Linslade have sent their condolences to their twin-town in south-west Germany after it suffered a horrific fire that claimed the lives of 13 disabled people and a 50-year-old female carer.

A gas explosion caused by a faulty heater has been blamed for the blaze at a workshop in Titisee-Neustadt. As well as the dead another 17 were injured in the blast.

“After hearing about the tragedy Anne Guess, chairman of LL Twinning forum, sent a letter to her opposite numbers, Karin Katz-Hör and Klaus Hör, in the Black Forest town, saying: “I would like to send, on behalf of the people of Leighton-LInslade and the Twinning forum, our condolences at hearing about this sad event.

“The thoughts of everyone on the twinning forum and everyone in Leighton-Linslade who has had connections, are with the people of Titisee-Neustadt at this sad time, especially those who have lost loved ones.”

the German couple responded: “Thank you for your condolences. It is good that our English friends share this tragedy with us. All inhabitants are very shocked about that fire and the death of 14 people. Many handicapped persons are well known in town. They are really nice people who are very friendly to others. So much of us have contact to that workshop. We don’t know what will happen with them and with the institution in the future. Please say thank you to all our English friends.”

Christine Hinchliff, whose husband Chris was a former town mayor and founder member of the twinning forum, added her sorrow. She said: “Having spent many holidays in the area the Hinchliff family are devastated to hear the news that the Caritas Charity Workshop at Titisee Neustadt has been burnt down.

“To hear that 50 people were working at the time and 14 have lost their lives with a further 17 severely injured makes it so much harder to believe. We must be thankful for those spared and pray for the repose of those who have died. These workshops support both mentally and physically handicapped people with projects to build their confidence and independence.

“There are no words which can express my feeling of sorrow for our friends in Germany. I hope their community will come together to support their neighbours as they did for me earlier this year.”