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Tributes paid to ‘whirlwind of a woman’ who died in blast at industrial estate

16 Dec 2023 4 minute read
Danielle Evans, who died after an explosion at an industrial estate in Treforest. Photo South Wales Police PA/Wire

Tributes have been paid to a business owner who died in an explosion and fire at an industrial estate in south Wales.

Danielle Evans, 40, was described as a “whirlwind of a woman” by her family, who said she would be deeply missed.

Emergency services were called to a two-storey building on Severn Road, Treforest Industrial Estate, Rhondda Cynon Taf, at 7pm on Wednesday.

A major incident was declared as the building named Rizla House – which also houses other businesses including a gym and towel company – was described as at risk of collapse by South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

Mrs Evans had founded a testing laboratory, specialising in the microbial testing of food, in 2009. The company, Celtic Food Laboratories, is based at Rizla House.

Searches were carried out at the site, leading to the discovery of Mrs Evans’s body on Thursday. There were no other reports of serious injuries.

Flowers were left at the police cordon on Friday, as firefighters continued working around the building.


In a statement released through South Wales Police, Mrs Evans’s family described her as a “magnet” who pulled people together.

They said: “Dan was a whirlwind of a woman. She leaves a gaping hole in her family and friends’ hearts, which will never be replaced.

“She was an intelligent, caring and beautiful soul. She started her own successful laboratory business – Celtic Food Labs.

“Poured her heart and soul into it, but the most important things to her were her husband, family, dogs and friends.

“She was a fiercely loyal and loving wife. The best friend anyone could hope for. She met strangers and friends with the same positive, infectious and loving energy.

“She pulled you into her orbit like nobody you will ever meet or will again. A magnet that pulled us all together.”

The family said Mrs Evans was passionate about science, camping, partying with friends and having quality time with her family.

They described her as an amazing aunt who “cherished every second with her nieces”.

Their statement continued: “She came from a loving family and was so close to her mum, dad, brother, aunties and uncles, her love was boundless.

“She touched so many lives. She will be so sorely missed, but my word do we all have some amazing memories that we made and cherish.”

The family thanked members of the emergency services who attended the incident and were involved with it, describing their efforts as “professional and heroic”.

April Frost, 39, a childhood friend of Ms Evans, told the PA news agency: “She would brighten up any room she walked into.

The sales assistant based in Barry, Wales, said: “She was a bright funny character that will be truly missed by all that knew her.

“Heaven has gained a beautiful soul. Gone but never forgotten.”


Earlier on Friday, South Wales Police confirmed an investigation was under way with the Health and Safety Executive and the fire service to “determine the cause of the fire”.

The force appealed for anyone who witnessed the incident, or with footage from the area at the time of the explosion, to come forward.

Detective Superintendent Richard Jones said: “Our thoughts remain with Danielle’s family, friends and work colleagues at what is a very difficult time for them.

“Our inquiries are ongoing to establish the cause of the incident, and these inquiries are being carried out in partnership with relevant agencies.

“The patience and understanding of the businesses in Treforest Industrial Estate and local residents is very much appreciated whilst this work remains ongoing.”

Anyone with footage is asked to use the link

Those with information aside from footage should contact South Wales Police, quoting reference number 2300423352.

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