Van destroyed in suspected arson attack in South Shields
Residents living on South Tyneside's newest estate were woken after a van exploded in the early hours.
Fire crews from South Shields were called to the Trinity South Estate in Laygate, South Shields at 2.45am, yesterday.
A van parked on the driveway of a property in Eldon Street had burst into fire sending flames soaring up the side of the home.
Those living nearby say they were woken in the early house by the sound of a loud bang before they came out of their properties and saw the vehicle ablaze.
It is thought a car belonging to a neighbouring property was also damaged in the fire.
Police also attended and an investigation has now been launched.
One person who saw the flames said: “There was a huge bang at about quarter to three in the morning which woke me up.
“When I went outside I saw a van, parked on the driveway of one of the homes was on fire.
“The fire was quite big. You could see the flames going up the side of the house.
“From what has been said the neighbour’s car was also damaged in the fire.
“The fire and police were all there -everyone has been talking about it and wondering whether it has been torched as you don’t often hear about vans just suddenly bursting into flames the way this one did.”
A spokesman for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said: “We were called to Eldon Street at 2.45am, to a transit van on fire.
“Two appliances from South Shields attended. The incident is now being looked at by police.”
After attempts to contact Northumbria Police for comment, no one was available.