ARSONISTS caused thousands of pounds of damage during a car wrecking spree.
The yobs lit fires under the engine compartments of cars including a Ford Focus, BMW and Vauxhall Corsa, in Hetton early yesterday morning.
Three appliances from Rainton Bridge, North Moor and Seaham fire stations were called to the blazes, and police also attended after receiving calls from distressed residents who heard bangs after the cars went up in flames.
One woman, who lives in Wear Street, said she was horrified to when she realised her 4x4 Suzuki Grand Vitara was on fire.
“How can people do something like this?” she said. “I never slept last night. I think they must have just gone down the street like a domino effect and lit the cars.
“I never saw anything because it’s pitch black in the lane.”
The mum-of-three, who didn’t want to be named, added: “We are really going to struggle because we use it to take the kids to school and things.
“We are really devastated, just before Christmas as well.”
Police and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service are investigating the arson, which took place at about 2.40am.
A pregnant mum-of-two, of Station Road, whose VW Beetle was destroyed, said: “It couldn’t have happened at a worse time – just before Christmas. I’ve had to take days of work to deal with the insurance. I’m devastated. The car is worth more to me than the insurance. I heard a bang, looked outside and the car was up in flames. It’s just awful.”
l A 26-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson and remains in police custody.