A FIRE ball erupted in a quiet cul-de-sac and threatened to spread to homes after a suspected stolen car was torched in Washington.
Crews from Washington Fire Station were called to Mentieth Close in Lambton at 3.20am.
When they arrived the fire had already engulfed a Ford Transit van parked nearby, along with several bins.
Patricia Laws, 72, who lives next door was woken by a bang and could feel the heat in her bedroom.
Great-grandmother Patricia said the flames from the burning Mercedes threatened to melt her windows.
Firefighters spent 45 minutes dealing with the blaze which completely destroyed the car, thought to have been a Mercedes E Class.
Watch manager Gary Carabine said: “It was a fully developed car fire when we arrived. Given that the car was pinched, we think the fire was deliberate.”