A dad has died in hospital five days after a firework was set off inside his home and exploded 200 times.
Tony Nicholls, 56, had been in an induced coma after his house in Birmingham was targeted on Thursday at just after 11pm.
He suffered smoke inhalation and serious burns and remained in hospital while undergoing emergency treatment, before tragically passing way in the early hours of this morning.
His girlfriend escaped the fire by jumping from a window, but suffered fractures to her lower limbs. She is still in hospital.
West Midlands Police are still searching for the person responsible for the suspected arson.
Detective Inspector Paul Joyce, from the Homicide team, said: “Sadly one of the victims of this fire has died and our thoughts are with his family and partner at their time of loss.
“His death means that we are now treating this as a murder enquiry and I would like to re-emphasise the need for anyone with information to call us.
“We are following up several active lines of enquiry and are focusing on CCTV from the local community. If you have any home CCTV that we have not yet seen please call us.”
DI Joyce added: “The impact would have been terrifying for the occupants and I would urge anyone who sold or is missing a firework of this size to get in touch.
“This would have been a large heavy firework that would have been difficult to carry some distance, so I would ask anyone who saw someone carrying a large box in the area last Thursday night to contact us.
“Any information no matter how insignificant if may seem to you could help our investigation.”
Information can be given to police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
The incident happened as a petition proposing a ban on the sale of fireworks in the UK has gained over 37,000 signatures in just a few days.
The online petition calls on the Government to: “Change the laws governing the use of fireworks to include a ban on public use.
“We call on the Secretary of State to make appropriate provision to secure that the risk of public use is the MINIMUM that is compatible with fireworks being used, as stated in Fireworks Act 2003 sect 2.”
If it reaches 100,000 signatures it will be considered for a debate in parliament.
The current law states you must not set off fireworks in the street, or between 11pm and 7am, except for on Bonfire Night, New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, which have a slightly later cut-off. All fireworks sold in the UK have a maximum noise level of 120 decibels and setting off fireworks in a public place – without proper permission – is also against the law.