A man who was injured in a fire caused by a firework at his home in Tile Cross has sadly died in hospital. The 56-year-old has been named as Anthony Nicholls.
Mr Nicholls had been in an induced coma since the blaze in Birchtrees Drive just after 11pm on Thursday (02/11).
He did not regain consciousness and died in the early hours of this morning (07/11) − his family have been informed.
His partner, a 50-year-old woman, escaped with fractures to her lower limbs after jumping from a first floor window. She remains in hospital.
Detective Inspector Paul Joyce, from the Homicide team, said: “Sadly one of the victims of this fire has died and our thoughts are with his family and partner at their time of loss.
“His death means that we are now treating this as a murder enquiry and I would like to re-emphasise the need for anyone with information to call us.
“We are following up several active lines of enquiry and are focusing on CCTV from the local community. If you have any home CCTV that we have not yet seen please call us.”
The fire started after a large commercial sized firework was placed in the property and set alight. It is thought to have contained around 200 tubes of explosives and would have taken around two minutes to fully discharge. The property caught alight quickly and gutted the open plan living accommodation.
DI Joyce added: “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.
“Any information no matter how insignificant if may seem to you could help our investigation.”
Information can be given to police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.