About 1,400 cars destroyed in Liverpool car park fire
Blaze broke out in an old Land Rover before rapidly spreading to nearby vehicles
A huge fire has destroyed about 1,400 vehicles in a car park near Liverpool’s Echo Arena.
Witnesses described grabbing possessions and running for their lives after the blaze broke out in an old Land Rover and rapidly spread to nearby vehicles.
Cars were heard exploding “every few seconds” as firefighters battled to bring the inferno under control into the early hours of New Year’s Day.
The Liverpool International Horse Show on New Year’s Eve was cancelled and horses, which had been on the first level, were moved to the arena.
Merseyside Police said initial investigations indicated that an “accidental fire within a vehicle caused other cars to ignite”.
“We believe that all vehicles parked in the car park have been destroyed and advise owners to contact their insurance companies,” the force said.
No one has been seriously injured, it added.
According to Liverpool’s mayor, Joe Anderson, the blaze started in a Land Rover on the third level of the car park.
Two dogs rescued
Firefighters worked into the night trying to control the blaze, which began on Sunday afternoon.
Crews were first called at 4.42pm and were on scene eight minutes later.
The area was evacuated along with some apartments nearby due to smoke billowing from the blaze.
The fire service said crews rescued two dogs from one of the vehicles inside the car park during efforts to tackle the blaze. A spokesman said they were thought to be the only animals in the car park at the time.
Police advised members of the public to stay away from the area and traffic restrictions are currently in place.
A spokeswoman for the Echo Arena said: “We regret to announce that the Liverpool International Horse Show has been cancelled tonight due to a serious fire in the multistorey car park on site.
“All people and horses are safe and secure.”
The four-day event was due to finish with Sunday evening’s show, where about 4,000 people were expected.