A woman who witnessed a car being set on fire in a field by three male youths said she feared someone had been trapped inside.

The eyewitness, who wishes to remain anonymous, from Epping, said the blaze happened off Coopersale Street, Fiddlers Hamlet, around 3.50pm, yesterday (Wednesday, February 12).

The white small vehicle, believed to be the size Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Polo, appeared to have had a phone holder on the windscreen before being burned.

Three other drivers have also been confirmed to have witnessed the incident, were the suspects quickly fled towards Coopersale or Epping High Road upon hearing ambulance and fire brigade sirens.

Speaking about the fire, the witness said: “I didn’t get a clear view or what the boys were wearing, just dark clothing - don’t know if it was tracksuits.

“I saw the back of them and didn’t put two and two together until I realised the car wasn’t on fire because it looked like it had crashed, it was driven into the field and then left.

“I would say literally I heard four pops in the space of 60 seconds and I realised it wasn’t my Amazon driver, it was the car on fire.”

The suspects were seen pouring an unknown substance over the vehicle moments before thick smoke billowed from the scene.

Initial thoughts by the witness believed that the car had crashed into the fence on the farmer’s field and blown up.

Fortunately, no one was injured.

The witness added: “I wasn’t scared, more worried if someone was trapped.

“Then when I had a look the gate, it was shut and the car was basically parked in the field, that’s when I knew it was a torch job.”

Essex Police have been contacted for comment.

If you have any information or footage of this car fire, please call Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.