Coroner rules that man died from injuries caused by deliberate firework attack

The inquest into the death of a man from Birmingham has heard that he died from severe burns after intruders kicked his front door down and pushed an industrial sized firework into his house.

No one has ever been brought to justice for the murder of Anthony Nicholls in 2017 and today police said that their investigations continue.

A coroner at the hearing in Birmingham gave a narrative conclusion that Mr Nicholls "“died as a result of injuries caused by the deliberate activation of a large firework device.”

He added that this is compatible with “unlawful killing”.

Credit: ITV News Central

The court was told that a murder inquiry continues into the death of Anthony Nicholls, 56, who suffered severe burns and smoke inhalation during the fire.

He was rescued from the property and placed in an induced coma, but never regained consciousness.

His partner was left with multiple leg fractures after being forced to jump to safety from an upstairs window.

The inquest heard from a number of people in the emergency services who were at the scene on the night.

Firefighters described a horrific scene where smoke was pouring from the house. They said they went up ladders at the back of the house to rescue Anthony Nicholls and that he could be heard inside screaming "Help me, I'm burning up here!"

He later died from his burns and other severe injuries linked to smoke inhalation.

Mr Nicholls home following the fire in 2017. Credit: ITV News Central

In a statement from Mr Nicholls only daughter, she said that in the two years since her father died her life has been changed forever.

She reiterated that her father was a kind and funny man, who should have been enjoying his retirement. She added that he will never be there to walk her down the aisle or to see his grandchildren grow up.

She said that she will be forever tormented by the fear that her father must have felt when the fireworks went off and when the fire took hold.

Mr Nicholls only daughter attended the inquest. Credit: ITV News Central

James Bennett, the city's assistant coroner, also heard how criminal damage had been caused to Anthony Nicholls house in the lead up to the arson attack in early November 2017.

Police told the inquest that in the days leading up to the fire, a brick had been thrown through the kitchen window and that an upstairs window had also been smashed.

The investigation continues.