A DRAMATIC eight-hour stand-off involving armed police in Darenth was sparked by a man setting fire to himself in the street, according to a neighbour.

Gun-wielding officers swooped on Wood Lane at about 2pm on Friday (June 14) following reports of a disturbance.

A woman, who wished not be named, says the incident started after a man threw a brick at her son’s Mercedes' window which was parked in the street.

She told News Shopper: "My husband then shouted ‘what the ef are you doing?’.

"He said ‘call the police’ and then got into his car, which he had already laced in petrol, and then flicked a light and set himself and the car on fire.

"My husband shouted to me to call the police and the fire brigade and he went out with a fire extinguisher and put out the fire. He’s my hero."

The man in his 60s was still ablaze and said to have jumped out of the red Mini and rolled himself on the grass to put out the flames before darting inside his house.

She told News Shopper: "We didn’t know what to do. "It’s awful, it’s been giving me nightmares.

"He has mental health issues and it was a cry for help."

Residents were forced to evacuate their homes while the street was cordoned off and trained police negotiators attempted to talk him down.

At its height it is believed up to 20 emergency vehicles were called to the usually sleepy street, near Waller Park.

Neighbour Pete Mills, 73, who has lived with his wife Jenny in Wood Lane for 20 years, said: "They (police) were on our drive with their helmets, guns - the whole caboodle.

"It was an armed siege. Police were carrying great big guns like you see in airports. The bomb squad were here. It was phenomenal. You would not believe it.

"It seemed a bit OTT but they’ve got to consider people’s safety."

Following hours of negotiation, the man in his 60s was talked down at around 10pm and arrested on suspicion of criminal damage.

He was treated at the scene by paramedics for non-life threatening injuries and taken to hospital. Residents in Wood Lane were allowed back into their homes at around 10.30pm.