Derby

Derby family too frightened to return to firework-damaged home

firework damaged home
Image caption Furniture in the house caught alight following the firework being pushed through the letterbox

A family whose house was badly damaged when a lit firework was pushed through their letterbox said their children are too frightened to return home.

The rocket was pushed through the front door of Paul Burton's house in Sunny Hill, Derby, on 5 November, setting light to a cupboard.

The fire caused smoke damage to the building and it could be up to four months before they can return.

But Mr Burton said his youngest child, who is 11, is too traumatised.

Image caption It could be months before the family can return home

The family returned home to watch fireworks after celebrating son Kyle's 21st birthday.

As they stood in the kitchen there was a "massive bang and crackling" from a rocket.

Mr Burton and Kyle ran into the street where they chased off two teenagers before returning to the house.

"As we were coming up the street I could hear my daughter screaming... she was on the floor holding the dog.

"My wife was holding my youngest son because his ears were hurting and he was crying."

It was only then that they discovered the contents of the cupboard were on fire.

Image caption The letterbox was taped up following the attack

Since then they have had to move out while repairs are carried out. They have been told it could be between four and 16 weeks before their house is ready.

Mr Burton said: "I don't want them back in that house, my youngest son is not handling things very well... he's constantly breaking down.

"He's not settling through the night, he's crying in his sleep, he's throwing himself around in his bed. For their sake we can't go back in their home."

Derbyshire police said they were investigating.

A friend has set up a crowdfunding website to raise money for the family for Christmas. About £500 has been raised so far.