An elderly couple’s home in Derbyshire was entirely destroyed when a giant firework exploded through their ceiling.
Ted Bagshaw, 69, and his wife Wendy, 63, were watching Strictly Come Dancing on TV on Saturday when they heard what sounded ‘like a massive bomb’ go off.
A huge rocket smashed through the roof tiles of their detached home in Littleover, Derbyshire, just after 8pm and exploded in the loft space.
Within minutes their entire £200,000 property in Haven Baulk Avenue was engulfed in flames, forcing the couple to ring 999 and flee.
Firefighters rushed to the house but despite tackling the blaze, the house was gutted and the couple have been warned it could be months before they can return.
Retired police officer Mr Bagshaw said: ‘We were sitting in the conservatory when we saw this huge rocket fly towards our house.
‘It just exploded and everything jumped. It was a tremendous bang, I have never heard anything like it before. It was like a massive bomb going off.
‘The power went out straight away and we were plunged into complete darkness.
‘There were flames everywhere and we just got our dogs and ran out and phoned the fire service.
‘It was horrific. We panicked but just gathered everything and got out as soon as we could.
‘A friend ran over and started to try and get our hosepipe working to put the fire out.
‘We just gathered ourselves and I have got to say the firefighters were here very quickly and they got to work.
‘We stood there as the fire started to spread all over the house.
‘We were relieved we had got out and survived. It could have been a lot worse. If we had been in bed and not able to react straight away it could have been a very different story.
‘I have thought how on earth did it manage to hit our house. Just look at the damage it has caused.’
Every room in the three-bed house apart from a bedroom at the back has been destroyed and the cost of repairs is expected to run into tens of thousands of pounds.
Mr Bagshaw added: ‘We need a new roof, new ceilings, new everything. It’s not just possessions, this is real damage.
‘I don’t know what we’re going to do. We’ll be out for months and months.
‘Although this is terrible I’m just glad we’re safe and well. We have each other and our dogs. We will get through this.’
The blaze also ruined the couple’s treasured photographs, including several of Mrs Bagshaw’s mother, who died earlier this year.
She said: ‘Our house has been destroyed. We won’t be back until next year, we have been told it will take a very long time.
‘So much of the roof has been damaged we can even see outside. When it hit the house it really felt like a missile. The force was huge.
‘We could hear it explode in the house. We have lived here since 1984 and it is everything.
‘It’s absolutely horrific. The shaft of the rocket is in the boot of our car. This was not for personal use.
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‘It has destroyed so many things which mean so much to us. I have photos of my mum in here which have gone and she died in January.
‘This has broken me. I don’t know what we’re going to do. Someone out there does not know what they have done.
‘We have so many memories here. There’s so much that has gone that no amount of insurance money will ever get back.’
More than 15 firefighters tackled the blaze which is believed to have started as a result of an accident.
A spokeswoman for Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘Our advice would be to wherever possible go to an organised firework display.
‘But if people are going to have displays at their homes then we would ask them to enjoy it safely and be mindful of their surroundings.
‘This fire appears to be the result of an accident.’