VANDALS torched two cars in an early-morning arson attack.
Fiona Lucas looked on in horror as her new car was engulfed in flames as firebugs struck.
The 26-year-old and partner Toby Bowery, also 26, were asleep at their home in Hendon when they were woken up by an explosion.
She said: “We looked out the window and the car was in flames.
“The whole of the bonnet and the engine were on fire.
“We rang the police and the fire brigade, but by that time, it was not even safe to go out in the street.”
The blue Peugeot 206, parked outside their home in Park Place East, was destroyed in the blaze, which happened at about 3.30am on Friday.
The trainee teacher bought the car just six months earlier and needed it for her work placements around the North East.
She now faces being left out of pocket and has to pay out a £450 excess on her insurance policy, which will not be refunded unless police catch those responsible.
Her insurance company won’t supply a courtesy car because her car is a write-off.
“Even the tyres were on fire. I was in shock,” she said.
“We didn’t know what to do. You don’t do anything wrong, so why should this happen to you?
“Whoever did this has not got respect for other people’s things. What are they doing out at 3.30am?”
A silver Peugeot parked nearby was also set on fire and neighbours say crime in the area is on the increase.
A 47-year-old woman, who did not want to be named, witnessed the aftermath of the blazes.
She said: “We heard some loud bangs and looked out of the window and saw the flames engulfing the street.
“There has been quite a lot of trouble here in the last year.”
Northumbria Police has asked anyone with information to call 03456 043043, extension 69191, or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.