A JCB which caught fire in the centre of a village as children were being collected from school had an electrical fault, the fire service has confirmed.

Parents in Hamsterley, near Bishop Auckland, saw the vehicle in flames just after 3.15pm.

Firefighters from Spennymoor rushed to the scene after receiving the call at 3.27pm and used one reel to put out the blaze.

A spokeswoman for the County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service said: "The tractor was well alight so crews from Spennymoor attended the incident and one reel was in use.

"It is suspected that the reason why is because of an electrical fault. The owner started smelling smoke so she pulled over and that was it."

The spokeswoman confirmed the woman who owned the vehicle was not hurt during the incident and the fire was extinguished at about 4pm.

A witness added: "I was going to the Post Office van parked in the village and I saw a tractor with smoke coming out of it.

"When I came back it was covered in flames.

"The owner was nearby and didn't look to be in any kind of danger.

"A fire engine arrived soon after and I don't think anybody was injured."