TWO car fires which took place within 15 minutes of each other are being treated as arson.
Startled residents said “it was lucky nobody was killed” after the first blaze was started on Stanley Grove, Ruabon, at about 12.50am yesterday.
Just minutes later, a second car was set alight on Ash Grove, Plas Madoc, with North Wales Fire and Rescue called to the scene at about 1.05am.
North Wales Police said both fires were started deliberately but added they are not being treated as linked.
They said no one was hurt and police were conducting door-to-door inquiries.
Extra officers were deployed on patrol in both the areas yesterday.
Retired couple Michael and Heather Platt’s Citroen Xsara was the first car torched, sparking fears about the safety of their neighbours on their street of semi-detached properties.
“I’d gone to bed around 10pm and Michael stayed up watching the football”, Mrs Platt, 66, said.
“We were both asleep and I just heard a big swoosh sound and then a bang. I looked outside the window and said ‘Oh my God, my car is on fire’.
“We ran downstairs, rang the fire brigade and then I grabbed a housepipe, but it just kept burning.
“We then went round all the nearby houses, waking people up and getting the children out their homes. It was lucky nobody was killed.”
Mr Platt, 66, said: “We’re recently retired and have just finished off the payments on the car and then this happens.
“But at least it wasn’t any of the houses – they could have blown up.
“The people who do this just don’t think – people could have been killed.”
Nicola Birchall’s Vauxhall Astra was the second vehicle torched on Ash Grove, with the full tank of petrol she had just put in causing the blaze to rage for over an hour.
Mrs Birchall, 43, who works at Dodds Lane Student Centre, said a number of items - including her pupil’s school work - had been lost in the fire.
“I was lying in bed and just heard a pop which sounded like an explosion”, she said.
“I started screaming when I saw it was a blaze, but I managed to calm myself down to ring the police.
“It is disgusting, I feel physically sick. The student’s school work was in there and things like my driving licence. I don’t even want to think about what could have happened if someone had been caught up in it.”
A spokesman for North Wales Fire and Rescue said: “We were called to a car fire on Stanley Grove at 12.49am and one crew from Johnstown attended.
“A second car fire began at 1.04am on Ash Grove, Plas Madoc, and one crew from Wrexham attended to put out the blaze.”