Cars ‘explode’ after arson attacks

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SHOCKED pensioners today told how cars “exploded” outside their homes after a suspected arson attack.

Four cars were damaged in what is believed to have been a series of attacks in Sunderland.

Shortly after 10pm on Thursday, police received a report that a vehicle was on fire in Peplow Square, Pennywell.

But when officers attended the scene, they found three cars ablaze .

At about 11pm, police received another report of a car on fire in Friar Road, Ford Estate.

Elderly residents in Peplow Square said they have been left stunned by the incidents.

“I was in bed watching television when I heard this loud explosion,” said a 71-year-old householder.

“I had no idea what it was.

“I went to the window and all I could see were these cars on fire.

“Two of them looked a complete write-off.

“It looked as if the fire had also damaged the other one as well.”

The retired labourer said was it normally a “quiet and peaceful” neighbourhood.

“Everybody knows everybody around here,” he said. “We all look after each other.

“We’ve never had anything like this happen before.

“It’s a complete shock.”

Another householder said: “It’s usually a really nice place to live. It’s a miracle nobody was hurt.”

Neighbourhood Inspector Dave Pickett, of Northumbria Police, said the incidents are being treated as arson and the force had stepped up patrols in the area.

No-one was injured, however, “extensive damage” was caused to the cars.

“If anyone was in Peplow Square or Friar Road or the surrounding area and saw anyone acting suspiciously or anything out of the ordinary we’d urge them to contact police,” he said.

“Extra officers will be in the area to help prevent any further incidents and reassure residents.”

A 30-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson.

Anyone with information should contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.