Norwich family left shocked after firework put through their letterbox

A Norwich family have experienced a lucky escape after having a firework shoved through their letterbox in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The Smiths, of Mousehold Avenue, were all in bed asleep when a loud bang awoke the family at around 1.10am.

Panic soon set in as mother of the family, Ann, stepped out of her bedroom to find the house clouded in smoke.

She later needed treatment from paramedics for smoke inhalation but were it not for some recent DIY, the situation could have been far worse.

Ann's husband, Craig, 42, has recently been replacing carpet downstairs with laminate flooring, including the porch floor where letters would normally fall through the letterbox.

So when a far more volatile and dangerous object fell to the porch floor yesterday, it was only the bottom step of the still-carpeted stairs that suffered some minor fire damage.

It has left the family shaken and upset, as Mrs Smith, 42, explained: 'I just heard this almighty bang and at first I thought it was the front door's glass which had been put through.

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'But we got up and couldn't see anything for the fog. Once it cleared we could see the firework at the bottom of the stairs and realised that we needed to ring the police.'

After treatment from paramedics Mrs Smith did not need hospital treatment but was yesterday still feeling the effects of the smoke, with a very sore throat.

The couple's eldest daughter, Jessica, 21, was relieved that her one-year-old daughter, Jessica, had not been staying with her grandparents that night.

She said: 'You don't know what all that smoke could have done to a baby. She's normally round this house and it could have been a lot worse on her little lungs.'

The firework also woke up the couple's second child, Sophie, 18, who added: 'The smoke was so thick. It's just not what you expect to come through your letterbox.

'It might have seemed like a joke to whoever did it, but it could have been a lot worse for us.'

The East of England Ambulance Service have condemned the 'outrageous act' and warned about the dangers of the misuse of fireworks.

Ambulance service spokesman, Gary Sanderson, said: 'This was a despicable and outrageous act to carry out. If fireworks are used properly and in the correct manner, accidents can be avoidable.

'However, they can cause devastating injuries if safety precautions are not followed.'

A spokesman for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service was equally shocked by the incident, saying: 'The service utterly condemns this hugely irresponsible act. It could have quite easily led to a serious fire and loss of life.

'People forget that smoke is the most dangerous element of any fire. Fortunately the woman seems to have been okay on this ocassion but it could have been much worse.'

A police spokesman added: 'An investigation is underway however we believe this to be an isolated incident.'

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or knows who was involved should call the non-emergency 101 number or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Have you got a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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