'Exocet' firework wrecks Derby couple's home
A woman has described how she "lost everything" when a stray firework set fire to her home and destroyed it.
Wendy Bagshaw said the firework sounded like "an Exocet missile" hitting the roof. The stress of the fire caused her husband to have an angina attack.
Mrs Bagshaw, from Littleover, Derby, said she had already gone through the "worst year of her life" and the pair are now temporarily homeless.
She expressed frustration at people who recklessly set off fireworks.
'Just so stupid'
"I just can't believe what's happened to my house. It's all gone. I've got nothing," she said.
"I've lost everything that I've worked for 40 years for, and it's just so stupid that people don't realise what they're doing.
"If you don't understand what you're doing with fireworks, then don't use them."
Mrs Bagshaw was watching Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday when she heard a bang.
"I can only describe it as an Exocet missile, just came at the house," she said.
"It shook the foundations of the house, I felt it shake. My little dogs jumped off my knee and ran outside."
She and her husband Ted, who had been in the conservatory with their third dog, went outside to see what had happened.
A man driving past shouted to say the roof was on fire, and the couple tried in vain to extinguish it using a hose.
The fire service put out the fire but the house was severely damaged and many of the couple's possessions were destroyed.
'Worst year of my life'
The couple are staying at a nearby hotel until they can move into more permanent accommodation.
"The insurance assessors have given us somewhere to stay, but they have told us to find a house as it will be at least six months before ours will be habitable again," she said.
Mrs Bagshaw lost all her photos of her mother, who died earlier this year. Two aunts and two friends also died this year, she said.
Both her husband, who has a heart condition, and her father, who has prostate cancer, are ill.
"It's been the worst year of my life, and now this," she said.
Derbyshire Fire Service said the occupants were lucky to get out early as the damage was extensive.
Michael Haslam from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "Our advice is that if you want to see fireworks, go to an organised display."