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Archive - Friday, 2 November 2007
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Firework attack burns out home
A FAMILY are lucky to be alive after Halloween yobs threw a firework inside their home, sparking a blaze.
The burned-out kitchen of the house in Ramsay Road, Headington, Oxford
The family-of-four were asleep when a burning firework set their kitchen alight, in Ramsay Road, Headington, Oxford, at about midnight on Wednesday.
The family were woken by a smoke alarm and managed to escape out of a back door as the flames ripped through the house.
It is believed the firework was pushed through the letterbox by youths who had been trick or treating.
Fire investigation officer Guy Dunkley said: "Fortunately nobody was severely hurt but the family is very lucky to be alive and will suffer major disruption just because some young people wanted a few minutes of fun.
"Young people need to be aware of the consequences of playing with fireworks.
"If the owner had not had a smoke alarm or reacted quickly, this could have been a whole different story and we would be looking at four fatalities."
The owner of the house, who asked not to be named, heard the fire alarm and went downstairs to investi- gate.
He discovered the blaze in his kitchen and raced back upstairs to wake his wife and two young children.
When he returned, they could not use the front door because the flames had spread and fled through a back door.
They were all treated at the scene by paramedics but no-one was taken to hospital.
The family will be homeless for Christmas and possibly for up to six months.
Scenes of crimes officers were at the scene yesterday.
Neighbour Ralph Meads, 78, of Ramsay Road, said: "I heard an explosion and thought it was a very loud firework. It makes us all worry."
A 60-year-old neighbour, who asked not to be named, said Halloween yobs had thrown eggs at her car and home earlier in the evening.
She added: "I thought someone had let off a firework. It's horrifying to think people would do that as a joke or a dare."
Police said it was likely the fire was connected with trouble associated with Halloween trick or treaters, but they were keeping an open mind.
Det Sgt Russell Simpson said: "A fire could have serious consequences and, in this case, a family was asleep in the house at the time and they were very lucky to escape uninjured."
Anyone with information should call police on 08458 505505 or speak anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.