A Welling’s TikTok family whose home was destroyed in an alleged arson was given “95 takeaways and prostitutes” by “jealous haters” before the blaze, according to neighbors.
CCTV footage shows two suspects setting a Ford S-Max on fire on the road outside The Smithy Family’s semi-detached house between 10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. Wednesday night with a carton of milk filled with gasoline.
Nick Smith – described as a ‘parasite in a vest’ by neighbors – and his family, who have 2.6 million social media followers, believe their house has been set on fire due to their newfound social media fame .
He says they will never be able to live in the house again.
Neighbors came to the aid of the family, helping carry their two daughters and six-week-old baby boy over the fence in the back garden to safety.
The “funny” and “warming” family videos have attracted a large following – now over 2.6 million, since Mr. Smith joined TikTok a few years ago.
But their newfound fame has also drawn unwanted attention after their address was leaked online.
Lisa, 50, a janitor who lives next door, said: “I’ve known them since the day we moved in nine years ago.
“I would take the kids over the back fence because they couldn’t get out the front door.
“They have two daughters Isabella, nine, Amelia, six, and a cuddly little boy who is only six weeks old.
“Bells was crying, carrying Teddy in his arms, so that will stay in his life.
“If they hadn’t had a back entrance, they would never have come out.
“The house is completely dark so I think they have been placed in safe temporary accommodation.
“This isn’t the first time they’ve had trouble with enemies or whatever you call them.
“One day, they had 95 take-out meals delivered, and then prostitutes or escorts showed up at his house.
“He’s the first to say he didn’t have the best childhood, but he did everything for his children.
“He’s a plague in a vest, but he doesn’t have a bad bone in him and we’ve been living here for nine, ten years.
“There’s a guy online who claims he put gasoline in their trash cans, but we know it wasn’t him because it didn’t start there.
“It’s a rough diamond, but it’s worth gold.”
Firefighters worked incredibly hard to limit damage to the interior of the house during a fire in #Welling. Our fire investigators assisted investigators at the scene https://t.co/dtZJmZn2gU pic.twitter.com/sjflIyjKiW
– London Fire Department (@LondonFire) July 15, 2021
Barry Sissons, 75, a former heavy truck driver who lives a few doors down, said: ‘We were in the night getting ready for bed and then we heard a Big Bang and looked out the window and saw the flames.
“It normally has a big dumpster outside full of wood, so I asked if that was what caught fire, and they said no, it’s the car.
“I’m so sorry for the family, it’s horrible and makes no sense.
“I think he’s quite an entrepreneur, always building things.
“He built a large playground in the back garden and a swimming pool.
“Even the lady next door suffered and we felt the heat of the fire here.
“The fire was higher than that hedge, so probably seven or eight foot flames.
“When it started, the kids had to climb the fence in the neighbor’s garden.
“Our shirts were covered in soot and it was getting in your eyes.
“We’ve been here 46 years, so we know them, but the fire was so intense that you couldn’t go out there and help.
“Two fire trucks arrived and had to use an angle grinder to get through the gate into the street because neither of us had the keys. ”
Walking around her burnt down house with her partner today [FRI]Nick Smith, 33, said: “We’re trying to find the person who did it and there is someone on Snapchat who posted pictures of him overnight.
“But there were several people who did, trying to claim the glory of setting our house on fire.
“Jess, my mate, was born in this house and our three children grew up here, and now, whatever happens, we’re not going to stay here after everything that’s happened.
“Now our address has been leaked and the take out and prostitutes can’t get over it. Would you feel safe?
“We don’t see ourselves as famous or anything, we’re just a family that gained a little audience and we were targeted.
“I just think it’s jealousy mate, most people would be happy for other people when they are successful, but others are jealous.
“Jack, my partner’s brother, was yelling ‘Nick! Nick!’ so I grabbed Teddy and Isabella.
“When I went back up to get Amelia, she had climbed the ladder to the bunk beds and had gone back to bed.”
Holding back tears, Mr. Smith continued, “My daughter wants to come home.
“She doesn’t understand why we can’t come back.
He added, “I joined TikTok in 2019 after my daughter refused to do more TikToks with me.
“People are very cowardly on social media with their comments and for me, who hasn’t been there very long, I think people can be really mean.
“What they don’t realize is that we read all the reviews.
“In the end, it could have cost people their lives.
“If it had been a gasoline car, it would have exploded and it would have been like a little bomb exploding. ”
Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters were called in to tackle the blaze after London’s 999 fire checkers responded to 16 calls.
NCO Tim Sammons, who was at the scene, said: “We were called to report that a car had stopped outside the house.
“There were a number of mobility scooters parked outside that caught fire and produced a large amount of smoke and flames.
“Everyone was out of the building prior to our arrival, and the crews worked incredibly hard to prevent further damage to the interior of the property and to neighboring properties.
“Our fire investigators also responded to help identify any flammable substances present.”
The brigade was called at 10:25 pm and the fire was under control by 12:30 am Fire crews from Bexley, Plumstead and Erith barracks attended the scene.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by Met Police and Brigade.
A Met Police spokesman said no arrests had been made and investigations are continuing.