The family of Asfordby teenager Leah Reek who was killed in a Leicester explosion last month have described her as their ‘shining star’ in a moving tribute.
The 18-year-old former pupil of Long Field Academy in Melton and Asfordby Captain’s Close Primary School was one of five people who lost their lives when a blast reduced a mini supermarket and the two-storey flat above it to rubble.
Her boyfriend Shane Ragoobeer, also 18, was also killed in the explosion with his mother, Mary, and brother, Sean.
Leah’s family said in a statement today (Friday): “Our whole family’s heart is breaking because we have lost our beautiful, bubbly baby girl.
“Words aren’t enough to say how completely selfless, kind and caring Leah was.
“She had a smile that lit up an entire room and she was truly our shining star.
“She was beautiful inside and out, so fun-loving and we are so honoured to have spent 18 years with her.
“She was so excited to have received an unconditional offer to start her nursing degree at De Montfort University in September.
“She also enjoyed her volunteering at LOROS so much, where everybody she met adored her.
“There is a part of us gone forever. We will always miss her cheeky smile and will miss her every day for the rest of our lives.
“The only comfort we can find is that our baby is at peace with the love of her life, Shane, with whom she will now be together for eternity.
“She left a legacy of love and kindness that will be remembered forever.
“Rest in peace our baby girl, we love you so much LooLoo.”
Shane’s father Jose Ragoobeer, who was not in the family home at the time of the blast, also paid tribute to Leah.
He said in a statement released by Leicestershire Police: “Shane was in a relationship with Leah.
“They were so happy together. Leah was a lovely girl who brought so much joy and happiness to our home.”
Talking about the wife and sons he is mourning, Mr Ragoobeer said: “Mary and I had been married for 22 years but had known each other for 28 years.
“She was a hard-working, loving mother and wife who was devoted to her family.
“She had two jobs so that she could look after the boys to make sure that they had everything they needed.
“She always made sure that the boys had the latest gear, including football kits for the teams they supported.
“Shane was a good person and loving son who was always willing to help his family and friends.
“He was kind, caring and always respectful. He was a very keen Liverpool FC supporter and played for Aylestone and Quorn FC.
“Sean was a good person and loving son who, like Shane, was always willing to help family and friends. He was looking forward to going to university to study French and history.
“He was hard-working and had a part-time newspaper round.
“He also loved football and was a keen Manchester United supporter.
“He was very close to my son Scotty and was much-loved by all his friends and family.
“Every day they will all be missed by myself, Scotty and our family and friends.
“Our lives will never be the same. What happened that day has affected so many peoples’ lives.
“I would like to thank everyone who has helped myself Scotty and family since our lives changed forever.”
Three men have been remanded in custody in connection with the explosion, which happened on Hinckley Road on Sunday February 25, on five charges of manslaughter and committing arson with intent to endanger life