Picture report: shoppers evacuated as firefighters tackle blazing car inside Letchworth multi-storey car park

Car fire at Letchworth's Garden Aquare shopping centre. Picture by John Moutrie

Car fire at Letchworth's Garden Aquare shopping centre. Picture by John Moutrie - Credit: Archant

Shoppers looking for bank holiday bargains in Letchworth were evacuated from part of the Garden Square shopping centre on Monday afternoon after a car caught fire in North Herts District Council’s multi-storey car park.

The Volvo estate, driven by a Stevenage woman, was near the pedestrian car park entrnace by the Home Bargains store. which was cleared of customers along with the neighbouring Costa coffee shop after the alarm was raised and fire crews from Baldock raced to the scene.

John Moutrie from Baldock, who took pictures of the blazing car and whose own vehicle was parked on the level above the Volvo, said: “Two fire crews attended and the fire was quickly extinguished.

“For a short time both Home Bargains and Costa Coffee were evacuated. Other vehicles parked within the multi-storey were not permitted to leave until the flames had been extinguished. No one was injured”.

The council’s executive member for planning and enterprise Councillor David Levett was also at the scene with a camera. He said: “The car park was filled with dense smoke and fumes.

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“Firefighters entered the car park wearing breathing apparatus and rapidly had the fire under control.

“The vehicle was badly damaged but the driver and disabled passenger had been able to safely evacuate the vehicle before the fire took hold and raised the alarm.”

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