EMERGENCY services were called out last night to tackle a car on fire outside a Sunderland home.

Police and firefighters from two engines attended the scene on the driveway of a house on Leechmere Road just before 9pm.

A black VW Golf was 100 per cent severely damaged in the blaze, according to a spokesperson for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, and the matter is now under police investigation.

Witness Ian Maggiore, who lives on the same road, described hearing a "boom" which alerted him and his wife to the fire.

He said: "I could see flames coming up (from the drive). I spoke to a fireman last night who told me the fire was in the bushes but the car was on fire and two booms were from the tyres exploding."

Mr Maggiore and his wife rang 999 after spotting the fire and said emergency services arrived within two minutes.

"Within 30 seconds the fire was out," he added. "As I could see, there was nobody in the house.

"When I went over last night I could see the car had been taken away by a pick up truck and there was very little evidence of damage apart from smoke."