Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has escaped without injury following a fire at his home. The blaze was started by fireworks being let off in the bathroom in the early hours of this morning.
Two fire crews had to enter his Cheshire mansion to tackle the “substantial fire”. The property was seriously damaged and police had to be called to stop Balotelli going back into the house.
The Italian had already ran back inside once to retrieve some money and a suitcase.
A police spokesman said: “At just before 1am on Saturday we were called to a report of a house fire at a residential home in Mottram St Andrew. Police provided assistance to Cheshire fire and rescue service as well as ensuring residents were accounted for and there was no danger to surrounding properties. At this time, the cause of the fire is being examined by fire investigators and the police. However, it is not thought to be suspicious.”
Balotelli spent the night in a hotel and reported for training as expected at 10am. He told club officials the fire started when he and four friends were setting off fireworks through an open window. Bathroom towels were set alight and the fire spread quickly.
The 21-year-old claims the offending firework was lit by one of his companions.
A statement from Cheshire fire service said: “Four breathing apparatus and two hose reel water jets were used to deal with the fire and a large fan was used to clear the smoke from the property. Crews managed to put the fire out within half an hour of arriving but remained at the scene until 2.45 am to prevent any possible flare-ups. Smoke alarms were fitted at the property and the occupiers were able to get out unharmed. The fire was caused by a firework.”