A CAR became a ball of flames after it was stolen.
A fire crew was called to tackle the blaze about 5.15am this morning in Kidderminster Road, Downhill.
Fire fighters struggled to dampen the flames after the fuel tank burst, and aerosols inside the vehicle exploded.
The crew from Sunderland Central Fire Station had to tackle a “running petrol fire” as fuel from the car spilled down a drain.
Two high pressure hose reels were used to extinguish the blaze, which took about 15 minutes.
A spokesman for the Fire Service said the car was completely destroyed by the fire.
Police officers also attended the scene, and confirmed that the vehicle was stolen.
The cause of the fire is still unknown, and police inquiries are ongoing.