TWO luxury cars were badly damaged in a suspected arson attack in Great Lever in the early hours of this morning.

Firefighters were called to Heywood Park View at around 12.30am, after a white Mercedes C Class and a blue Audi S3 caught fire.

They spent around an hour putting out the blaze and both cars have been written off.

Police and the fire service are currently investigating the incident.

The front of the Mercedes was severely damaged and the glass on its side window has been shattered.

The back of the Audi, which was parked in front of it, was severely damaged and its licence plate has melted.

The Audi belongs to 28-year-old James Roach, who was at a friends’ birthday party in Manchester when the incident took place.

Mr Roach is also thought to own the Mercedes, after his driving licence and passport were apparently discovered inside.

His grandfather James Roper was in the house with his wife when the cars caught fire.

Mr Roper, aged 80, said: “It makes me feel awful looking at this — I’m really upset.

“There was no indication, to me, that James had had problems with anyone, so I don’t know why this has happened.”

Neighbours who witnessed the incident say it has shaken up the whole community.

Alan White, aged 53, of Heywood Gardens, said: “I was playing computer games with my friend when I heard this loud bang which sounded like something out of the ordinary and we both dashed outside.

“At first, I thought the petrol tank was going to make a big explosion, because the flames were huge and there was a lot of smoke. It was extremely dangerous.

“I didn’t see anything to suggest it had been done intentionally, but that sort of thing doesn’t just happen by accident.”

Sarah Morrow, aged 22, of Heywood Park View, said: “I looked outside and the cars were just in flames. It was really bad and it’s shocked us all.”

A spokesman for Bolton Central fire station said: “We are looking at the possibility of this fire being started deliberately.

“We were at the scene for around an hour and both cars have been written off.”

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “We received a call at 12.15pm of two cars being set alight.

“We are treating this as a suspected deliberate ignition and a joint investigation with the fire service is ongoing.”

Anyone with information can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.