Queensland police who had been chasing a band of alleged criminals have had to rescue them after their overheated vehicle sparked a dangerous grassfire.

Police have been praised for saving four alleged criminals from a fiery death after a chase in Brisbane’s north.

Police began pursuing the gang after they failed to pull over at Brighton on Thursday night.

Their four-wheel-drive ran off the road at nearby Deagon shortly afterwards, and the heat from the engine sparked a grassfire that badly burned the vehicle and a dog squad van.

The officers involved in the chase were forced to smash the 4WD’s windows to pull three men and one woman to safety.

A woman and two men have been arrested. The third man is in hospital under police guard.

Police say the officers showed great courage.

“The police did a tremendous job. They were placed in a very dangerous situation by the occupants of the vehicle,” Acting Senior Sergeant Allan Cook told the ABC.

“The occupants were wanted by police in regards to some serious offences that have been committed in recent weeks.”

The fire destroyed the dog squad van, but no officers or animals were injured.

Police later said all four had been charged with a range of offences, including unlawful use of a motor vehicle and assaulting police.