Debbie Kennett has never enjoyed fireworks - and never will after her family was forced to flee their home at the weekend.
A youth's act of stupidity has put Mrs Kennett, husband James and their two teenage sons temporarily on the street and looking for alternative accommodation after fire left their Rangiora 11-year-old home extensively damaged.
A 16-year-old has been referred to police youth aid after he threw a firework onto the roof of the Kennetts' two-storey house on Sunday afternoon.
The firework rolled into the guttering, setting fire to the roof and spreading through several rooms.
Constable Jake Rowse said the youth initially thought the firework had gone out, but when smoke started billowing from the roof he and the group he was with alerted the house owner and tried to fight the fire with a garden hose.
Rangiora Volunteer Fire Brigade firefighters took almost an hour to quell the blaze.
Mrs Kennett said her family was having lunch when neighbours alerted them to the fire in their roof.
"I'm absolutely devastated - numb and tearful," she said yesterday.
"I've never been in favour of fireworks. I hate them."
Mrs Kennett said her 16-year-old son knew the youth from Rangiora High School. He had been visiting a flatmate on a neighbouring property.
"We'd heard fireworks on Saturday and saw them holding them in their hand," she said.
She credited the youth for admitting responsibility to police at the scene, but said he hadn't apologised for the damage and inconvenience from his "stupid act".
"He needs to come and see what's he's done to our family home," she said.
"I don't know if an apology would make any difference. It's just stupidity."
Mrs Kennett said they were staying with her husband's family temporarily, while they looked for alternative accommodation in a tight North Canterbury rental market.
"It's the inconvenience," she said. "It could take months to repair. We can't find any accommodation in Rangiora."
Constable Rowse said the youth made himself known to police at the scene and admitted what he'd done.
"He did the right thing after doing something stupid," he said. "There was no malicious intent - just sheer stupidity."