A man slept with a 17kg industrial firework under his bed for 12 months. Fire service chiefs said he risked his own life and the lives of his neighbours by keeping the powerful explosive inside his small one-bedroom flat for so long. They said the man and his neighbours could have been killed if a blaze had caused the device to detonate.
Staff at the man’s warden-controlled, two-storey flat complex in Broughton, Salford, Greater Manchester, were unaware he was keeping the professional display firework inside his room.
The man himself called Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service under a fireworks amnesty after staff were alerted. Specialists were forced to carry out a controlled explosion at a remote location, with video footage of the detonation capturing the force and danger of the 100-shot device.
The firework, a ‘Brocade Crown with Blue Stars’, is classed as a category four firework and can only be sold to professional display operators. It was kept inside a cardboard box.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said the consequences of a fire inside the man’s flat were ‘simply unthinkable’ for both him and his neighbours.
The man, believed to be aged in his late 50s, hasn’t been named.
It’s believed that he won the firework in a competition. It is not known whether he was a smoker.
Warren Pickstone, head of protection at GMFRS, said: “It would have been devastating.
“That amount of explosives in one place - it would have blown out the windows and killed anyone inside the property.”
Councillor David Acton, chairman of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, said he did the right thing by contacting the fire service.
He added, however: “It’s astonishing to think that this man was going to sleep at night with 17kgs of explosives under his bed. The consequences of a fire in his property while this firework was there are simply unthinkable for him, his neighbours and the firefighters, who would have put their lives on the line to rescue him.”