Joyride on Northern Ireland fire engine leaves trail of destruction

Thieves broke into a Northern Ireland fire station and went on wild joyride in a stolen fire engine, damaging houses and cars.

Story highlights

  • Two men, ages 19 and 66, are in custody for allegedly stealing a fire engine, police say
  • Cars were upended and houses damaged in the apparent joyride, fire official says

(CNN)A disastrous, predawn joyride in a fire engine early Saturday landed two men in jail, authorities in Northern Ireland said.

It's unclear what prompted the two men -- one 19, the other 66 -- to allegedly steal the vehicle from a fire station near Belfast, but the trail of destruction it left was considerable.
    Sirens blaring and lights flashing, the fire engine plowed into houses and flipped over parked cars before crashing to a stop outside two homes.
    Group Commander Kevin O'Neill from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) told CNN the men broke into the Larne station and made off with the engine about 4:30 a.m.
    "Subsequently, this fire engine was driven into a number of cars and houses in the Larne area," he said.
    They did not get very far, O'Neill said.
    Thieves broke into a Northern Ireland fire station and went on wild joyride in a stolen fire engine, damaging houses and cars.
    At least seven cars were severely damaged as well as a number of properties, according to a spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Police Service.
    The pair also caused "considerable damage" to the Larne fire station during the break-in, officials said. The station has been closed for repairs.
    O'Neill said NIFRS was working to ensure services were maintained in Larne. The fire company will be "reviewing their security arrangements," he said.
    The station was not manned at the time of the robbery.
    One of the men being questioned by police was treated for injuries sustained in the crash, but no one else was hurt, officials said.
    Police did not say what the men were doing before they stole the fire engine or if they were intoxicated.
    Both are currently in police custody, pending charges.
    The Northern Ireland Police Service tweeted: "Stealing a fire engine! Madness like this can put lives at risk. Any info? Please report it on 101. @NIFRSOFFICIAL