A police investigation has been launched after vandals torched two top-of-the-range cars in a wealthy part of the Capital.
Shocked neighbours on the leafy Stockbridge street likened the blaze to a scene from Northern Ireland during the Troubles.
The fire on Dean Terrace started shortly before 3am on Sunday and was so ferocious that it melted metal to the road and sent a column of smoke billowing more than 100 feet into the air.
A £27,665 Mercedes-Benz 220 CDI was destroyed and a £24,795 BMW 116d was badly damaged as the flames spread.
John Wallace, 65, saw the fire taking hold from his window on Saunders Street on the opposite side of the Water of Leith.
He said: “I heard bangs and I went to the window to look out and immediately saw smoke billowing above the rooftops and flames through the trees. The smoke was well over three storeys high.”
“I heard bangs and saw smoke billowing above the rooftops and flames through the trees”JOHN WALLACE
When Mr Wallace went out to get a closer look, he saw that the street had been cordoned off and that there were two cars ablaze.
He said there was very little left to identify the red Mercedes apart from a small patch of paint running below the front passenger door.
“Other than that there was no paint left, and the car had melted to the ground,” he said. Another neighbour, living on Danube Street, witnessed the aftermath of the blaze the following day.
She said: “I’m surprised more people didn’t hear anything. It’s completely unbelievable. It’s like Northern Ireland during the Troubles. One of the cars was completely burnt out and another car was also damaged. It made me nervous about bumping into the people who did this.”
The Georgian street, overlooking a local beauty spot, is lined with luxury cars including Jaguars, Bentleys and Range Rovers.
Police have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire, which they believe was started deliberately.
Nobody was injured in the blaze but officers are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area and who may have noticed any unusual behaviour.
Detective Constable Douglas Mogg said: “Both cars were completely destroyed by the fire. “Witnesses in the area heard a man talking with a local accent at around 2.45am followed by a loud bang and then flames coming from the cars.
“I am keen to hear from anyone who was in the area of Dean Terrace around this time to please contact police on the 101 number, or speak to any officer.”