Merseyside Police has said it believes that a fire has destroyed 1,400 vehicles in a multi-storey car park next to the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
Some 12 fire engines were at the building at King’s Dock in the city centre. No-one is believed to have been hurt.
The area was evacuated, including around 80 horses taken to safety, as the Liverpool International Horse Show is currently on at the arena venue. The evening show was cancelled.
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 blaze, Mersey Fire and Rescue Service said.
Police advised members of the public to stay away from the area and traffic restrictions are currently in place.
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.”
He 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 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.”