The Real Footie Analyst

Mario Balotelli’s house set on fire by fireworks hours before derby kick-off

Mario Balotelli had to flee his burning mansion at 1am yesterday – after a firework prank with pals went wrong.

The Manchester City striker even had to be restrained by police and firemen after racing back inside the blazing ­property to rescue a stash of money and a suitcase.

The 21-year-old escaped ­unhurt but yesterday had to face the wrath of City boss Roberto Mancini, who was furious that his striker had put himself in jeopardy a day ­before City’s biggest game of the season against Manchester United today.

Balotelli told City officials that he and four friends had been setting off fireworks through an open bathroom window at the house in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire, when a towel caught light and flames quickly spread.

Two fire crews using breathing apparatus put out the blaze after being called just before 1am yesterday to deal with what has been described as “a substantial fire” on the first floor.

Balotelli’s pad sustained serious fire and smoke damage and police were also called – in part to ensure the hot-headed Italian did not go back into the house.

Balotelli checked into a Manchester hotel and trained yesterday.

But after looking like finally settling into life in Manchester, this latest scrape will have Mancini once more questioning the wisdom of persisting with the controversial striker with a genius for self-inflicted problems. Mancini said on Friday that he hoped Balotelli was “changing his mentality” and putting behind him the controversies that have dogged him since he signed from Inter Milan for £25million last year.

He recently moved from Manchester city centre and said he was living in the countryside for a quieter life.

A spokesman for Cheshire Fire Service said last night: “Crews managed to put the fire out within half an hour of arriving but remained at the scene until 2.45am to prevent any possible flare-ups.”

Source: People

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