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A survivor of the devastating Summerland fire on the Isle of Man which killed 50 people, including 15 from Merseyside and Cheshire, has made an emotional appeal for the three Liverpool friends who unintentionally started the blaze to get in touch with her.
Ruth McQuillan-Wilson, 48, was five at the time of the disaster and suffered terrible scarring to the backs of her legs and hands.
. . .
I suffered horrible disfiguring burns to the backs of my legs and hands. I endured several operations to have skin taken from my stomach and back for grafting. My childhood was taken up with hospital visits. I was called the most horrible names and rejected by other children. My life seemed to be full of things I couldn’t do.
One day, when I was on the verge of a breakdown, I realised there was something I COULD do. I could find out exactly what happened – why Summerland burned down.
I discovered that three Liverpool schoolboys started a fire in a disused kiosk. I read the names of the three boys – your names and where you were from. I read that you admitted wilfully and unlawfully damaging the lock of a plastic kiosk. Were you smoking or just playing around with matches? I know you ran away when the fire started. I understand how frightened you must have been – terrified – when you realised the enormity of what had happened. It must have been terrible, waiting to be discovered.
About 3,000 holidaymakers were inside the leisure complex on Douglas promenade when fire swept through the building on 2 August 1973.
The disaster led to changes in fire regulations in the Isle of Man, the UK and around the world.
originally posted by: Kester
Those responsible for locking the fire doors are no longer with us. The design and response was clearly at fault, fire regulations were changed worldwide.
She's asking for the fire starters to come forward and tell their side of the story to balance her published story.
Is it reasonable for survivors of this terrible disaster to request an explanation?