Lisa Tyerman’s Renault Clio was one of three vehicles destroyed in the early morning attack in Peel Gardens, Simonside, today.
Her husband’s work van, and a neighbour’s car - believed to be a Ford Fiesta - were also caught up in the blaze after the vehicles were set on fire.
The van also had the word ‘grass’ daubed on the side - which the couple say they have no idea what it refers to.
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Mrs Tyerman, also known as Lisa Handy, who runs her photography business under the name Halo Photography, and is also a volunteer at Hebburn Sea Cadets, said: “It’s just so devastating and so scary, that someone would do this.
“How can someone come along and destroy something that doesn’t belong to them?
“I use my car for my business and I do a lot for charity - it’s so sickening.”
The couple were woken at about 6am after Mrs Tyerman’s husband, Andrew, who is an electrician for Gentoo, heard a bang outside their home.
When he looked out of the window he saw the three vehicles, which were around 20-30 metres away from their property, in flames.
Firefighters from South Shields attended to tackle the blaze and the couple were given a log number from the police, who were called to attend.
Mrs Tyerman added: “He woke me up after he heard a loud bang, he looked out the window and said ‘Lisa, your car is on fire’.
“When I went to the window I just saw the middle car in flames, my car in flames and my husband’s work van had also been caught up in it.
“I save hard for the things I want, including my car. I hardly make anything on my business and I do lots for charity.
“I know it is only materialistic, but this has really turned my whole life upside down.
“Some of my camera equipment was in the car - equipment I use to go out and help people capture their memories.
“I had also been out collecting things to give to a homeless man - this is my world.
“It’s so hard to put into words how I feel.
“I want for nothing, I’d do anything for anybody. We keep ourselves to ourselves. We just don’t know why anyone would do this.
“If anyone does have information on who did this, please contact the police with the log number 264 of today’s date.”
Police refused to comment on the incident, but said an investigation is ongoing.