A pensioner and a teenager have been arrested after a fire engine was stolen from a fire station and crashed into nearby cars and houses. 

The fire engine was stolen from Larne fire station, in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, before 4.30am, before it crashed into at least eight cars and a number of terraced homes. There were no injuries reported.

Police said they received several reports of a fire engine with its blue lights on having crashing into a number of cars and gardens at Glenarm Rload.

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The men, aged 66 and 19, are being held for questioning by the police. 

One of the men was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries but has since been released. 

Author Thomas Jobling, who lives on the Glenarm Road, was asleep in bed when he heard a massive crash around 4.30am.

Mr Jobling, whose own car was badly damaged, said he thought it was an explosion, but said when he looked outside he could not figure out how the fire service had arrived on the scene so quickly.

“I was fast asleep in bed around 4.30am and then there was this horrendous bang and flashing lights - we just didn't know what was happening,” he said.

“We thought it was possibly an explosion, we rushed downstairs and immediately saw the carnage of a line of cars, think it was probably eight cars, one sitting on its roof, my own car was side swiped as well.

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“The next thing we saw was the fire engine with the lights going and pulsing, and realised it was tight up against another couple of buildings in the terrace.

“We were thinking again there is obviously a reason for it, but then realised the fire engine has got here far too quickly.

“Then we started to calculate what has happened - the fire engine was stolen we understand and at great speed coming up here on the coast road has veered off and wiped out about eight cars.

“We are completely in shock, the neighbours on both sides of the road, we are just wondering how in the name of goodness can something like this happen.”

Group commander Kevin O’Neill from Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue said that the station was damaged in the break-in and that the service was working to ensure services were maintained in Larne. 

PSNI Inspector Trevor Atkinson said: "I would ask anyone who may have witnessed these incidents to contact police at Larne on the non-emergency number 101."