An NHS nurse is “gutted” after the brand new Audi she bought herself as a special reward after becoming qualified was ruined in a suspected arson attack.
Police are investigating after her 2020 Audi A1 burst into flames in Harlow, Essex.
Louise Dargan was alerted to the inferno by her neighbours when her car alarm was triggered last Thursday night.
The 50-year-old NHS community nurse from Harlow, Essex ran outside to find her vehicle alight – and could only watch in horror as her watch her pride and joy turned into a charred wreck.
Essex Police and Essex Fire and Rescue were called to the scene on Willowfield, Harlow just after midnight on September 9 and successfully extinguished the fire by 12.34am.
Louise told Essex Live : “I was absolutely gutted, I have never had a new car in my life too.
“I have always been a single mum for years and years and when I qualified as a nurse two years ago I said to myself my little reward is to get myself a nice little car.
“I am a Community Nurse so I need it for work and on the front of my car windscreen, it actually says community health staff.
“So whoever set my car on fire knew that I worked for the NHS, so I was just really disappointed and really gutted.”
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A video of the fire, which was shared by her son on Facebook, shows the car partially melted at the front, missing windows and the interior completely destroyed by the flames.
Louise, who came back from the hospital on Monday September 7 to recover from a small operation on her liver, was alerted by her next-door neighbours after they heard her car alarm going off.
Louise initially thought it was one of her sons coming home and forgetting their keys. Louise and her two sons ran to the back of her house and saw her Audi A1 engulfed by flames.
Unable to extinguish the fire themselves, Louise and her her two older sons were left with little choice but to watch the car burn while waiting for the emergency services to arrive.
Luckily, the car will be covered through the lease’s insurance, however, Louise said the next vehicle she gets will be an older car.
An Essex County Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “Firefighters from Harlow were called to a vehicle fire in Willowfield, Harlow just after midnight on September 9.
“On arrival, crews reported that a vehicle was on fire and extinguished it by 12.34 am.”
A spokesperson from Essex Police said: “Police have launched an investigation after a car was set on fire in Willowfield, Harlow, shortly after midnight on Thursday, September 9.
“Officers attended the scene alongside firefighters from Essex County Fire & Rescue Service and found an Audi had been badly damaged. It is thought the fire was started deliberately.”