14 July 2005

Torched vehicle rolls through sleeping street


By Laura McDaid

Residents of Norglen Drive awoke to a terrifying scene on Monday morning as a stolen car was set alight at the top of their estate and rolled down the sloping road outside their homes engulfed by flames.

The burning car freewheeled past a number of houses at 6.30 in the morning before crashing into the back of another vehicle which was parked on the slope.

The Fire Brigade was immediately called in to extinguish the blaze, which they managed to do before the second car caught fire.

A resident of the street, Maureen Tully, described her horror as she saw the burning vehicle rolling down the road.

“I just looked out the window and couldn’t believe my eyes. There was this burning car with no driver rolling past my house towards the houses down the hill. It was like a scene from a Hollywood film.

“I ran out of the house screaming to everyone to get out of the way, and then saw it crash into my neighbour’s car.

“Thank God it stopped there, but we were all still terrified that the second car would catch fire and maybe explode. It was absolute mayhem here.”

The owner of the second car, Mary Morgan, said, “I came running out of the house, and all I could see was black smoke belting out of this car. I was just waiting for my own to go up in flames. My children were petrified. I sent them out the back for safety.”

Mary’s car, which had to be taken away for repairs over the bank holiday, is essential to the family, whose disabled teenage son had a major heart operation earlier in the year.

“We need that car so badly, it’s our lifeline. My son has learning difficulties and we were planning to bring him to Ballycastle for the bank holiday. We can’t do that now, which is sad, especially after the scare he got when he saw the scene outside this morning. We were in Ballycastle on Sunday night and we thought about staying, but we came home in the end. To be honest, I’m glad we came back and that our car was parked there, because if it hadn’t been, that burning car would have rolled the rest of the way down the hill and into someone’s house.

“Our car can be fixed, but people would have been killed or seriously injured if that had gone any further.”

Maureen added: “It was an absolute miracle that no one was killed this morning. I just can’t understand why anyone would want to do that to the people in this street. What was going through their minds?

“We shouldn’t have to live like this. This area is getting out of control with joyriders and anti-social behaviour, and we all know it’s only going to get worse over the summer months.

“The funny thing is, years ago, when there was no money around, things were better here. Now these thugs are running around making life hard for everyone. When is it going to stop?”

Journalist:: Laura McDaid

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