Yobs launch firework at pensioner’s window

Brian Shawcross' front room window at his home in Shildon Close after a firework was thrown through it
Brian Shawcross' front room window at his home in Shildon Close after a firework was thrown through it

A WIGAN pensioner has told how he feared for his life after yobs launched a lit firework through his front room window in a callous early morning arson attack.

Brian Shawcross said he feels “very lucky” to have come away unscathed after the terrifying incident yesterday.

Detectives say they are now investigating an offence of arson with intent to endanger life and are hunting two people, believed to be teenage boys, seen fleeing from the scene at around 2am.

Officers remained at Shildon Close in Whelley for several hours yesterday making door to door enquiries.

Mr Shawcross told the Wigan Evening Post how the drama unfolded after he heard a loud bang at the front box room of his home.

A window was smashed with a rock and a lit firework tossed inside before the culprits fled.

A terrified Mr Shawcross, who works part-time at the DW Stadium as a steward, discovered the missile ablaze and, fearing it would cause further damage, acted swiftly to smother the burning rocket before throwing it out the window.

“If I hadn’t been in good health it could have been very serious,” said the 71-year-old retired bus driver.

“It could have been so much worse.

“My son thought it was an extension lead exploding at first but when I opened the door it was full of smoke.

“I said straight away it was some sort of fire bomb. I recognised it because I’ve smelled it working in the away stand at the DW Stadium at times.

“When I opened the door it was blazing, the rocket had landed on top of a throw so I put another one on top of it and smothered it.”

Firefighters were called to the scene and have since fitted a smoke alarm.

Mr Shawcross now has to fork out more than £130 to repair the broken window and is still assessing the internal damage.

It’s hoped that CCTV footage from nearby Ashbourne Avenue could help track down those responsible.

Mr Shawcross said: “We think we know who has either instigated it or even done it.

“I’ve had a name given to me which I’ve given to the police. Hopefully the CCTV will show something.”

A police spokesman said: “Fortunately no-one was injured as a result of the incident.

“Officers have spoken to neighbours and are looking into CCTV footage. Two white males were seen at the scene, aged around 16 years, one of chubby build and one of slim build.

“They were wearing all black clothing with hoods up to conceal their face.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.