Hellesdon couple’s lucky escape after firework prank in Norwich

A couple have had a lucky escape after a would-be arsonist shoved a lit firework into their home.

Keith Rackham, 78, of Links Avenue, Hellesdon, was in his bed watching the teatime news last Wednesday when he heard a loud bang.

He leapt out of bed and looked out of his bedroom door, which is close to the front door of their semi-detached bungalow, when he saw his hallway was full of smoke and that there was a firework smoking on the floor.

Mr Rackham managed to pick the firework up and throw it out of his front door and into his front garden.

Now, police officers are urging any witnesses to come forward.

Mr Rackham, who lives with his wife Pauline, said: 'I opened the curtain and there was this little firework near the door frame that had fallen down.

'There wasn't a flame or spark but it was smoking away like mad.

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'We were lucky nothing caught fire and that we were in to get rid of it. It was a bit serious.'

Mr Rackham said the crime happened at about 6.40pm.

He had gone to bed because he has had recent problems with sciatica.

The couple have since been visited by police officers, victim support and the fire brigade.

A Norfolk police spokesman confirmed Mr Rackham had reported the incident and inquiries were ongoing.

He said: 'A pyrotechnic device was put through the letter box of the property causing slight amount of burn damage to the carpet and door mat.

'Inquiries continue and anyone who witnessed the incident should get in contact.'

It is not the first time offenders have put a firework through a letterbox in Norwich.

In November last year, the Evening News reported how the Smith family in Mousehold Avenue was sleeping when a firework was put through their door at about 1.10am.

The emergency services at the time condemned it as an 'outrageous act' and warned about the dangers of the misuse of fireworks.

Anyone with relevant information about this latest incident is asked to call Bethel Street CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk.