Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills highlights ‘community spirit’ in the wake of Langley Mill fire deaths

Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills has paid tribute to the ‘community spirit’ of Langley Mill in the aftermath of a devastating flat fire which killed three people.

By Ashley Booker
Friday, 10th July 2015, 6:54 am
The fire scene on North Street, Langley Mill. Tom Maddick /
The fire scene on North Street, Langley Mill. Tom Maddick /

Amy Smith, 17, and her six-and-a-half month old daughter Ruby-Grace Gaunt as well as 17-year-old Edward Green, from Belper, all died in the blaze at the property on North Street on Sunday, June 21.

Their deaths sent shockwaves through a close-knit community which is still struggling to come to terms with the ‘terrible tragedy’.

But in the weeks since the fire, townfolk have rallied round and have come together to help those affected by the blaze.

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And speaking to the News this week, the area’s Conservative MP singled out locals for their support.

Said Mr Mills: “I was deeply saddened to hear of this terrible tragedy. My thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected by this terrible incident at this very difficult time.

“It was a great tribute to the community spirit in Langley Mill to see how local people have come together in the wake of this awful incident to support those who have been affected.

“I have already met with the Landlord of the property to discuss this matter and as the investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident continues, I will continue to look closely at whether relevant fire safety regulations need to be improved to prevent further tragedies like this.”

Meanwhile, in a letter to the News, the Rev Helen Penfold, of St Andrew’s Church in Langley Mill, has also spoken of the ‘overwhelming response’ from the community following the tragedy which ‘has affected us all deeply’.

She wrote: “At St Andrew’s we opened up for two days for folk to share their feelings through writing in books of condolence, offering gifts for those who had lost so much, or simply to come to be quiet and pray.

“The number of gifts of clothes and household items became so large that we held a jumble sale on Saturday as there was much more than those affected could make use of. The Miners’ Welfare was also open providing food and they made a donation towards the fund. At church we made £900, which included donations and a raffle. The unsold clothing was sold by weight and raised a further £180.”

The vicar said that Aldercar and Langley Mill Parish Council, the police and the church will work together to ensure that the funds raised are distributed fairly.

“I would like to thank all those who have worked so hard and been so very generous in their support. We continue to pray for all those affected,” she said.