A dad who had a firework set off inside his home five days ago has died.
Tony Nicholls, 56, had been in an induced coma ever since firefighters saved him from the suspected arson attack in Birmingham on Thursday.
Police confirmed today that he passed away early Tuesday morning and furthermore that the investigation is now a murder probe, the Mirror reports.
Mr Nicholl’s partner, Marie, 50, came away with a broken leg after she was forced to jump from an upstairs window.
The police said the firework discovered inside the house in Tile Cross was a ‘multi-shot commercial sized box shaped’ one.
West Midlands Police are appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious to come forward.
The police said in a statement:
The firework found inside the property was a multi-shot commercial sized box shaped firework.
It is approximately 2ft x 1ft in size and a considerable weight. It contained around 200 tubes and once ignited would have lasted for around two minutes.
This type of firework is designed for an outdoor public display in a field or similar open space, so the impact in a small house would have been absolutely terrifying.
The house set alight immediately and the blaze spread quickly throughout the open plan property.
We are keen to speak to any retailers who have sold this type of firework recently and anyone who knows of someone who had anything of this size in their possession.
We are still trying to understand why this couple were targeted and would ask anyone with any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, to contact us.
Neighbours living on the quiet residential street said they believed multiple fireworks were put through the pair’s letterbox in a targeted attack.
One elderly neighbour 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.
It’s 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 – we are praying he pulls through but it doesn’t look good.
We heard multiple fireworks going off – it sounded like a box of fireworks going on and on. I opened the window and heard noise, there was like four to five youths running around by the front door.
As the fireworks stopped, then the fire started. The youths disappeared and within minutes fire trucks showed up. They went straight in with the hose and put out the fire pretty quickly.
They tried to resuscitate him and he was taken away on a stretcher.
Officers are scouring CCTV in the area and conducting house to house enquiries in an effort to trace those responsible.
Information can be given by calling 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.