A MUM-OF-FOUR from Ellesmere Port has called for fireworks to be banned after yobs torched her front door while her children slept upstairs.

Joanne Herridge, 33, had been watching TV with her partner Thomas McKeating, 39, at their home on Eton Road on Bonfire Night when they heard the smoke alarm go off in the hallway.

Thomas went to investigate at around 12.30am only to be confronted with smoke and flames licking up the outside of the front door.

Joanne, who works as a carer, immediately went upstairs to wake the children – Dylan, 12, KC-Annette, nine, Lexi-J, six, and Logan, 19 months.

They ran into the back garden for safety while Thomas tackled the fire, aided by a police officer who luckily had been driving past.

Chester and District Standard:

The aftermath of the fire on Eton Road, Ellesmere Port.

Joanne told The Standard: “We’re all really shaken up by it – the kids have had to go and stay with my mum.

“We had some rubbish by the door ready to be taken to the tip and they must have set fire to it. There were baby things out there and a bumper seat so they must have known there were children in the house. It’s just totally wrong.”

She added: “I think fireworks should be banned after the amount of trouble there has been overnight. It’s horrendous and very scary.”

Describing the ordeal, Joanne said she and Thomas had been stunned to hear the smoke alarm go off.

“The whole of the hallway was glowing,” she said. “I ran upstairs to drag my kids out of bed and get them outside.

“They were all asleep and didn’t know what was going on. They were really shaken up. If the fire had got in then my children would have been trapped upstairs. It doesn’t bear thinking about.”

Chester and District Standard:

L to R: Logan McKeating, 19 months, Thomas McKeating, 39, KC-Annette Herridge, 9,  Joanne Herridge, 33, Lexi-J Herridge, 6, Chloe Johnstone, 15, (Thomas’s daughter who was not at home at the time of the fire) and Dylan Herridge, 12.

Joanne said a neighbour over the road also had a sofa set on fire outside her house.

“I just hope the police catch whoever did this before I do,” she added. “We’ve got to have the whole front door replaced now.

"We'd like to thank the police and fire service who responded so quickly. It could have been a whole lot worse."

A spokesman for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said two fire engines were sent to the scene but the blaze had been extinguished by the time they arrived.