Photo via Brett Welcome

The family of Nino Welcome, a seven-year-old boy with Lesch–Nyhan syndrome, awoke just after 3 a.m. to neighbors alerting them that their son’s cherished 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 was engulfed in flames.

Nino’s father rushed to put out the fire but it was too late, and after the fire department extinguished the flames, they determined some asshole had come along in the middle of the night and dropped fireworks into the back of the car, igniting Nino’s Batman car seat, according to the Springfield News-Leader.

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Arson is always a tragedy, especially with a beautiful classic like the orange and black Mach 1. The car had been restored by Nino’s grandfather and gifted to him for his birthday back in May. When Nino got a new wheelchair, they had it painted like the Mustang and he named it his “Mach II.”

While it was unlikely Nino was ever going to be able to drive the Mustang due to his rare condition, he still loved riding in it, and talking about it. His father says Nino identified with the car and would bring it up when he met strangers, and would go to bed at night listening to bedtime stories starring him and his Mustang.

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And now all of that has been ruined by some asshole looking for a quick laugh and a cheap thrill. Nino’s father, Brett, put the tragedy into context, via KY3.com:

“Vandalism and things like that aren’t random to the people it impacts,” Brett said. “It might be funny to throw fireworks into somebody’s vehicle but, when you destroy the happiness and the very thing that a disabled 7-year-old boy loves, it’s wicked. It’s disgusting.”

Apparently the car was normally parked in the garage, but had recently been moved as the family was preparing a yard sale. It’s not clear if the car can be salvaged, but the family intents to salvage what it can, likely including the engine, and do whatever it takes to replace the car.

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A GoFundMe account has been started to help Nino and the Welcome family.

H/t to Spencer!