Investigations begin after series of car fires in Sunderland

Churchill Street in Hendon, where a car was found on fire in the early hours of tdoay. Copyright Google Maps.
Churchill Street in Hendon, where a car was found on fire in the early hours of tdoay. Copyright Google Maps.
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Probes are being carried out into three car blazes in the early hours - with one leaving the front of a home badly damaged.

The first happened in Dovedale Road, Fulwell, just before 4am when an Audi parked on the driveway of a house caught light, with the heat spreading to the uPVC porch.

We were concerned the occupants were still in the house, as we could see the bedroom window open and there were lights on inside, but they were found in the back garden safe.

Acting watch manager Steve Howe

Firefighters were concerned the householders were still inside, but found they had managed to get out of their home and were in the back garden.

Crew members wearing breathing apparatus put out the fire inside the car’s engine compartment, and the burning porch.

The cause of the blaze is yet to be established, with police carrying out inquiries into the incident.

Acting watch manager Steve Howe, who is based at Fulwell Fire Station, said: “We were concerned the occupants were still in the house, as we could see the bedroom window open and there were lights on inside, but they were found in the back garden safe.

“They had made the call and a lorry driver on his nigh shift has also rang in.

“They had smoke alarms in their house, which we know went off for a short period, so there must have been smoke in the house, and it would have come through their window.

“The car’s alarm also went off, as the fire started to affect it’s electrics.”

Sunderland Central Fire Station’s two appliances were each called out to car fires in Hendon at the same time today.

One team was sent to Churchill Street at 4.30am, where a Ford Focus was found on fire, with the other crew sent to Church Street East, where a Honda Jazz was ablaze.

Both are being treated as suspected arson attacks, with police officers called to both scenes.

Anyone with information is asked to call Northumbria Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously 0800 555 111.