A HORRIFIED onlooker has told how a stolen car became engulfed in flames.

Firefighters rushed to Butcher’s Lane, Walton, at 1.24am on Sunday to deal with the blaze and found a blue Volkswagen T-Roc had turned into a fire fireball.

The site was surrounded by houses and flats. The firefighters put out the flames just before 2am.

Alastair Kendall, whose property backs on to where the fire broke out, said: “Many of my neighbours were woken up by loud bangs and explosions.

“It was all pretty scary but I am so pleased no-one was hurt and no property damaged.”

Essex Police are treating the incident as arson after firefighters recorded the cause of the blaze as deliberate. Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting crime reference 42/182789/19.