12.15pm: FIREFIGHTERS rushed to tackle a blaze in a busy car park after a car caught fire.
The fire started in North Street car park in Stamford at about 11.30am today (Friday).
Sandra I’Anson, from Morcott, had stopped to look for a parking space when she noticed smoke coming out of the bonnet of her husband Ian’s BMW 1 Series.
She quickly got out of the car and two Lincolnshire County Council workers rushed over to help.
Mrs I’Anson said: “I just pulled up and smoke was coming out of the car. Within two minutes it was alight.”
The fire service, which is based in nearby Radcliffe Road, turned up within minutes and Mrs I’Anson phoned her husband, who was in the town centre.
She added: “The council workers had to take the phone off me because I was shaking so much.
“They told us to get out of the way because the tyres would explode.
“I have no idea what happened, it’s a mystery. It’s a really new car.”
No-one was hurt in the blaze, although a red Suzuki Swift parked nearby suffered some damage.
Police have closed off the car park to incoming traffic while the vehicle is recovered.
Deborah Santos, 28, lives in a flat overlooking the car park.
She said: “I smelled something like burning rubber and I could see the smoke coming from the car from my window.
“I came outside and the car was on fire. The flames were huge, I have never seen a car fire like that.”
Pam Carter, 51, works at an office near the car park. She said: “I heard an almighty bang. I thought it was a car crash.
“There was loads of really thick black smoke pouring out of the car and a lot of people standing around.
“Things kept popping and banging. I didn’t get too close because I thought the rest of the cars might go up as well.”
And Francois Wiese, 34, from Ryhall Road, had just parked about 30ft away from the BMW when it caught fire.
He said: “Two workmen opened the bonnet to have a look, and saw the fire.
“I ran in to Nelsons butchers to try and find a fire extinguisher but by the time I got out it was a bit late.
“It took about five minutes for the whole car to set alight.
“I thought it was on the verge of exploding.”