Family home in Liswerry, Newport, burned down in firework attack

A family narrowly escaped after their house was torched by a gang of youths throwing fireworks. Wheelchair user Graham Lloyd was at the home he’s shared with his wife Janet in the Liswerry area of Newport[1] for 40 years when, at around 9.30pm on Bonfire Night[2], the 62-year-old heard a series of loud explosions coming from the alleyway at the back of the property. “Dad went out in to kitchen to investigate and saw flames through the glass panel in the side door,” said daughter Michelle Jones, a recruitment manager and mum-of-four.

“The carport was on fire and when he went to call 999 he realised the phone line had burned right through so he had to go back in the living room to grab his mobile. The fire was spreading at that point so he was risking his life just doing that.” 

It’ll be months before Graham, Janet, and Stephen Lloyd can move back in

But the biggest concern then was also getting Stephen Lloyd, Graham’s 49-year-old brother who has Down Syndrome, safely out of the house. “Unfortunately though he was upstairs with his headphones on and couldn’t hear my dad furiously screaming at him from the bottom of the stairs,” added Michelle.

Eventually both managed to exit the property just as thick black smoke began pouring through the front door. “We’ve also got two bichon frise dogs, one of whom followed Dad and Stephen out. The second one, on the other hand, was scared stiff and wouldn’t leave.

“I had to beg the fire brigade when they arrived to go in and get him. He was sitting shivering in terror on the landing, poor thing.” This was the fire taking hold:

Family home in Liswerry, Newport, burned down in firework attackAn eyewitness took this picture

These pictures show the extensive scale of the damage:

Family home in Liswerry, Newport, burned down in firework attackThe kitchen is totally gutted Family home in Liswerry, Newport, burned down in firework attackFamily home in Liswerry, Newport, burned down in firework attackThe ruined car port Family home in Liswerry, Newport, burned down in firework attackThankfully nobody was injured in the blaze

 

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By the time Michelle’s mother Janet rushed home from her part-time job at a local supermarket the blaze was being brought under control but the extent of the damage was shocking.

Michelle said: “Dad and Mum’s home of 40 years has gone up in smoke – they’ve been told it could take six to eight months before they can move back in. “And to be honest, after the shock they’ve had, I’m not sure they’ll ever feel safe in their own home again.” Graham, who lost the use of his legs in a motorbike accident two decades ago, has for years been adapting an American pick-up truck – a rare Dodge Ram, imported from America – which had been his pride and joy.

“He’d been making it compatible to his needs and had spent thousands on it. That was burned down to the suspension springs, totally destroyed,” said Michelle.

Family home in Liswerry, Newport, burned down in firework attackGraham’s American pick-up truck, which he’s worked on adapting for years, is totally destroyed

“Plus I have young triplets who I leave with my mother when I’m at work so I also need to know they are safe at all times.” Michelle said he uncle Stephen moved in with her parents after his own mother died in January. “He was only just settling in so this has really affected him badly,” she added.

She called for something to be done about the rising levels of anti-social behaviour in the area in recent months. “There’s been loads of kids hanging about lately, drinking and taking drugs. “We’ve tried to get the alley that runs behind the house closed off because it just attracts trouble,but with no luck.

All it takes is for one resident to object and that’s that.

Family home in Liswerry, Newport, burned down in firework attackJanet looks around her ruined home

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“In the meantime people like my parents are living in fear.”       A spokesman for Gwent Police[3] confirmed they were treating the fire as suspicious and appealed for anyone with information or who may have witnessed the incident to get in touch. You can contact them on 101 quoting reference number 1900409969 or direct message the force on Facebook[4] or Twitter[5] .

Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

References

  1. ^ https://www.walesonline.co.uk/all-about/newport (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  2. ^ https://www.walesonline.co.uk/all-about/bonfire-night (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  3. ^ Gwent Police (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  4. ^ Facebook (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  5. ^ Twitter (www.walesonline.co.uk)

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