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Daughter pays tribute to father killed in firework arson attack

Anthony Nicholls has been described by his daughter as a "fun-loving, funny man" Credit: West Midlands Police

An arson attack victim who was killed after a firework was set off inside his home has been described as a "fun-loving, funny man" by his daughter.

Anthony Nicholls, 56, was placed in an induced coma after he was rescued by firefighters from the address in Tile Cross, Birmingham, on Thursday.

He died five days later, West Midlands Police said.

Paying tribute to Mr Nicholls, his daughter Fiona Nicholls said in a statement:

He was a fun-loving, funny man. He was retired but worked hard all his life.

– daughter Fiona Nicholls

The deadly blaze in Birchtrees Drive started after a large commercial-sized firework was planted in the property and set alight.

It is thought to have contained around 200 tubes of explosives and would have taken about two minutes to fully discharge.

Mr Nicholls, a former Land Rover worker, leaves behind two brothers, as well as nieces and nephews.

His partner, a 50-year-old woman, escaped with fractures to her lower limbs after jumping from a first-floor window.

Detective Inspector Paul Joyce, who is leading the murder investigation, said:

We are going through lots of CCTV and developing some lines of inquiry from that.

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 it may seem to you, could help our investigation.

– Detective Inspector Paul Joyce