Tributes have been paid to the five victims of a shop explosion in Leicester.
Mary Ragoobeer, 46, and her sons Shane, 18, and Sean, 17, Leah Beth Reek, 18, who was Shane’s girlfriend, and Viktorija Ljevleva, 22, were all killed in the incident on February 25 which demolished a supermarket and the two-storey flat above.
Arkan Ali, 37, Hawkar Hassan, 32, and Aram Kurd, 33, have been charged with manslaughter and arson with intent to endanger life after allegedly starting a fire at the shop using petrol.
Jose Ragoobeer, paying tribute to his wife and two sons, 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.
“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.
“Shane was in a relationship with Leah. They were so happy together.
“Sean was a good person and loving son who, like Shane, was always willing to help family and friends.
“Every day they will all be missed by myself, Scotty (Mr Ragoobeer’s other son) and our family and friends. Mr and Mrs Cers, Mary’s parents in Mauritius, have lost a daughter and their two grandsons. Her extended family, the Tanner family, both here in the UK and in Mauritius have been shaken by the loss.
Our lives will never be the same. What happened that day has affected so many people’s livesJose Ragoobeer
“Our lives will never be the same. What happened that day has affected so many people’s lives.”
Leah’s family said: “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.”
The statement added: “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.
“Rest in peace our baby girl, we love you so much LooLoo.”
Ms Ljevleva’s mother said: “Of all the mothers in the world, I was the happiest of them all.
“There are very few children like my beautiful Viktorija. Friends were always jealous that I never had any problems with my little one. We shared a mutual understanding with one another.
“Vika was always joking that all families are the same: parents and children only communicate during the weekends! But in our case we even knew what each of us had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There was not a single day in our lives when we did not phone each other.
“She showed so much love to her brother and sister, particularly to Eleonara to whom she was more like a mother than a sister. We miss her terribly.”