Surviving couple rebuild their lives amid 'indescribable' grief

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 January, 2013, 4:31am

What Simon Watkiss and his wife, Candy, have gone through since the night fire gutted their New Territories house and took the lives of their two young sons is beyond imagination.

Yet last week, Watkiss calmly recounted the horrific ordeal that destroyed his family and left his life in tatters.

He said he and his wife were trapped in their room by the blaze.

Each time he tried to get to his children in their bedroom upstairs, he was driven back by the flames.

"At one stage, my hair was on fire and I was in flames," he said. "My wife was hysterical and I couldn't get to the boys through the flames.

"The grief we're suffering is indescribable."

Watkiss said he and his wife were gradually trying to somehow put their lives back together.

The 52-year-old Briton said that even watching television together had become an ordeal.

"It's traumatic as there are so many disasters and heartbreak showing all the time," he said. "Normally, you don't think of life in that way. It's only when something this awful happens that you do."

Watkiss thanked his friends, neighbours and colleagues who rallied around him and his wife after the tragedy.

"Everyone has been absolutely brilliant," he said. "It gives you faith in humanity."