Britain

Man dies after fire caused by firework in home

Police have launched a murder investigation after a man who was injured in a fire caused by a "terrifying" firework being set off in his home, died in hospital.

Anthony Nicholls, 56, from the Tile House area of Birmingham, had been in an induced coma since the fire broke out at the property on Birchtrees Drive just after 11pm on Thursday.

West Midlands Police said he never regained consciousness and detectives had now launched a murder inquiry.

Firefighters rescued Mr Nicholls from the property, while his partner, a 50-year-old woman, suffered a broken leg after jumping from a first floor window to escape the blaze.

The fire began after a commercial firework, with around 200 tubes of explosives, was set alight inside Mr Nicholls' home on Thursday night.

Police say the firework, designed for large outdoor displays, would have taken around two minutes to discharge completely.

The fire caught alight quickly and gutted the open plan home.

Detective Inspector Paul Joyce, of West Midlands Police, said: "The impact would have been terrifying for the occupants and I would urge anyone who sold or is missing a firework of this size to get in touch.

"This would have been a large heavy firework that would have been difficult to carry some distance, so I would ask anyone who saw someone carrying a large box in the area last Thursday night to contact us.

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