A STRAY firework landed on the roof of two Almondbury houses – setting fire to both of them.
Just hours earlier residents had called police after seeing teenagers lighting rockets in their hands and throwing them at passing cars, yards from the houses which were hit.
Almondbury Clr Phil Scott’s home was one of those damaged, along with his neighbour.
Both families were unhurt when the firework struck the roof of their Highlands Avenue houses at 12.20am yesterday.
A neighbour who was looking for her cat spotted smoke and flames coming from the houses and alerted the sleeping families and called the fire service.
Huddersfield firefighters say the stray firework landed in the lead guttering between the terraced houses and sparks spread to the roof’s timber frame, which then caught fire.
Watch Commander Darren Bagley, of Huddersfield Fire Station, said: “It was a stray firework landing on the roof which started the fire and which spread and caused quite a bit of damage.
“The people living there were not hurt and were safe when we arrived.
“But it caused quite a bit of damage to the roof of the two properties.”
Clr Phil Scott was woken by a neighbour who he said deserved a “massive bunch of flowers” as a “thank you for getting us all out in time”.
Clr Scott, his wife and two young daughters were evacuated along with another neighbour, a mother and her young son, who are now staying with family elsewhere.
The Almondbury Lib Dem said: “Earlier on in the evening, about 7pm or 8pm, we saw kids throwing fireworks on to the road.
“I don’t recognise them, but I knew it was happening because one firework had ignited and landed in my garden and it rattled the windows.
“These kids were running up and down the front lighting them in their hands and throwing them at passing cars.
“They looked young, so I called the police and later heard that another neighbour phoned before me.”
Just hours later, at 12.20am, the stray firework landed in the roof joint between the two homes.
Clr Scott added: “It’s damaged the roof. There is water damage in my daughter’s bedroom so she can’t sleep in there and it’s damaged the partition between the houses.
“Next door’s bedroom was damaged too, along with the loft and ceilings of both homes.
“After experiencing this I can only think that firework sales need to be better controlled.
“If people are going to have firearms – and that’s what they are because they’ve got gunpowder in them – then there needs to be better checks.
“If parents are buying them for their teenage children they need to be aware of what their children are doing with them.
“They’re putting lives at risk by messing with these fireworks and it’s not acceptable.
“We were lucky that a neighbour saw smoke and flames and got us all out.
“Our homes are damaged because of these people. I can’t describe or understand who would do this. They need to think how it would feel if it was their home.
“My thanks go to our neighbours and to Red Watch at Huddersfield Fire Station. They were quick, professional and did their best to put the fire out without making much mess.
“We do have a big hole in the roof between both houses, but it could have been much worse.”
West Yorkshire Police appealed for witnesses or anyone who can identify the youths who lit the fireworks to contact them on 101.