Police have revealed a firework which was posted through a shop worker’s letterbox leaving him battling for his life in hospital exploded more than 200 TIMES.
Tony Nicholls, 56, is in an induced coma after a blaze ripped through his home following the callous arson attack on Thursday (2/11).
He could be heard screaming as he desperately tried to smash windows so he and partner Marie could flee the spreading flames.
Marie, 50, is believed to have broken both legs jumping from the couple’s bedroom window after they were awoken by the blaze at 11pm.
But former hardware store worker Tony suffered 60 per cent burns and smoke inhalation before being dragged out and resuscitated by paramedics.
He remains in hospital in a critical condition along with Marie who is described as having serious injuries.
On Monday (6/11) police revealed the 2ft long “multi-shot” commercial-sized box usually used at outdoor public displays would have gone off constantly for two minutes.
The £150,000 property on Birchtrees Drive, Tile Cross, Birmingham has been left gutted by the horrific attack.
Detectives were examining potential links between the attack and reports of criminal damage at the couple’s home days earlier where their windows were smashed.
Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Burton, of West Midlands Police, said: “There would have been two minutes of fireworks going off inside the property, causing extensive fire damage.
“It would have been terrifying. We are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or with CCTV to come forward.
“These fireworks can be bought from some supermarkets and online retailers but we are trying to work out where it came from.
“The motive for this targeted attack is unknown.
“Forensic examinations are continuing inside the property and we expect an update later this week.
“There were a couple of incidents at the property a couple of days earlier but we do not know if they are connected but we are looking into all the incidences.”
Neighbours previously told of their shock at the attack on their quiet residential street.
One elderly woman, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s really shocking because this is usually a nice quiet area.
“I’ve been told somebody put lit fireworks through their letterbox. I think they were targeted.
“They were both in bed asleep and Marie jumped from the window.
“People were saying they could hear fireworks going off in the night and that they sounded very close.
“Its despicable that somebody could do such a thing. It’s attempted murder. Anyone stupid enough to do this would know it would surely endanger lives.
“He used to work at the hardware shop over the road but gave up because of his health.”
Janet Mahoney, 73, added: “We heard fireworks. It was lots of fireworks as well. I can’t believe somebody would stand there feeding fireworks through a letterbox.
“Over a two day period somebody did the top windows then the bottom windows. They did not deserve this.”
Matthew Green, 49, said: “It’s unnerved everybody. I saw the paramedics working on him.
“I heard him shouting, screaming for help. He broke all the windows to try to get out.
“They brought him out and resuscitated him. He’s suffered about 60 per cent burns.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Force CID on 101 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.
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