A horse show has been cancelled as firefighters tackle vehicles ablaze at a multi-storey car park next to the Echo Arena in Liverpool city centre.
Flames engulfed a number of vehicles next to the venue on Liverpool’s waterfront this evening, with a total of 12 fire engines called to the building at King’s Dock.
An evening session of the Liverpool International Horse Show has been cancelled after horses were evacuated to safety.
No-one is believed to have been hurt and it is not yet known how many cars have been damaged.
Crews were first called at 4.42pm and were on scene eight minutes later.
Six fire engines were initially in attendance and crews, wearing breathing apparatus, are tackling the fire, Mersey Fire and Rescue Service said.
The area was evacuated along with some apartments nearby due to smoke billowing from the blaze.
Merseyside 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 multi-storey car park on site.
“All people and horses are safe and secure.
“We are working alongside the emergency services to ensure the fire is brought under control and to make the site safe as quickly as possible.
“Please note that there is no access to the ACC Liverpool site. We will provide regular updates when we can.”
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said in a tweet: “Arena Car Park fire have been told everyone safe and no animals hurt seems a land rover went on fire on the 3rd level, horses on 1st the horses have been evacuated to Arena. Will give more news about tonight ASAP.”
The four-day event was due to finish with Sunday evening’s show.
Around 4,000 people were expected for Sunday evening’s show, but at least two or three levels of the car park appeared well alight, with periodic mini-explosions and flames shooting up the outside of the building.
Mr Anderson later tweeted: “Anyone whose car was in the arena car park should go to the Galeria in the Exhibition centre. Council and arena staff will help with getting home or emergency accommodation.
“Big praise for our fire service who are working really hard at the car park”
A spokeswoman for Mersey Fire and Rescue Service later confirmed there were no reports of any casualties and crews were still battling to get the blaze under control with 12 engines at the scene along with two aerial appliances.
She said the blaze started on level three of the seven-storey car park, with multiple cars ablaze and it had affected that level and one above.
There was no information on the numbers of vehicles damaged or destroyed yet and fire crews were expected to remain on scene for a number of hours.
The cause of the blaze is not yet known.