This is the 'carnage' a pensioner and teen left behind after stealing a fire engine
A pensioner and a teenager have been arrested after a fire engine was stolen from a station and crashed at speed into a nearby row of cars and houses.
A scene of destruction has been left on the Glenarm Road in Larne, Co Antrim, after the vehicle ploughed into at least eight cars before smashing into a number of terraced homes.
Police said two men made off from the scene of the crash in the coastal Co Antrim town.
Officers said two men, aged 66 and 19, were later arrested. One of the detained men had earlier been treated in hospital for injuries. Both are in custody for questioning.
Author Thomas Jobling, who lives on the Glenarm Road, was asleep in bed when he heard a massive crash around 4.30am.
Jobling, whose own car was badly damaged, said he thought it was an explosion, but said when he looked outside he could not figure out how the fire service had arrived on the scene so quickly.
“I was fast asleep in bed around 4.30am and then there was this horrendous bang and flashing lights – we just didn’t know what was happening,” he said.
“We thought it was possibly an explosion, we rushed downstairs and immediately saw the carnage of a line of cars, think it was probably eight cars, one sitting on its roof, my own car was side swiped as well.
“The next thing we saw was the fire engine with the lights going and pulsing, and realised it was tight up against another couple of buildings in the terrace.
“We were thinking again there is obviously a reason for it, but then realised the fire engine has got here far too quickly.
“Then we started to calculate what has happened – the fire engine was stolen we understand and at great speed coming up here on the coast road has veered off and wiped out about eight cars.
“We are completely in shock, the neighbours on both sides of the road, we are just wondering how in the name of goodness can something like this happen.”
Group commander Kevin O’Neill from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said: “At approximately 4.30 this morning Larne station was broken into and a fire engine was stolen.
“Subsequently this fire engine was driven into a number of cars and houses in the Larne area.”
He said the station was damaged in the break-in and the NIFRS was working to ensure emergency services were maintained in Larne.
Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward.