Sprinklers call after Liverpool auto park inferno

He said: "A fireman said the whole auto park is on fire".

A number of animals appearing in The Horse Of The Year Show at the Echo Arena were safely taken from the scene.

The fire service, which worked into the night trying to control the blaze, said crews rescued two dogs from a vehicle.

The fire brigade have released photos that show the destructive results of a fire in a city centre auto park which destroyed up to 1600 vehicles. She added they initially thought it was firecrackers.

Those who needed temporary shelter headed to a reception centre at Lifestyles Gym, which was opened by the Liverpool City Council.

Witness Sue Wright, who had been attending the horse show with her husband, told BBC News the flames were shooting out of the engine.

"It looked like a ball of fire on the front of the vehicle and it was producing a lot of smoke", she said. We just left everything in the auto - handbags, telephone, cash - and just went.

"There was no-where to sit, we couldnt get anything to eat or drink, so we left and finally found our way to the Pullman where horse riding friends were".

The Home Office said Fire and Rescue services had the resources to do their work and Mersyside's service will see an increase in core spending of 0.9% in the coming year.

The parking garage was adjacent to Liverpool's Echo Arena, a major concert venue in the city.

The final session of the Liverpool International Horse Show was cancelled as a result of the blaze.

While official estimates from an insurance perspective have yet to be released, a City A.M. report cited an industry insider who believes the cost of paying out for vehicles and possessions alone would be over £2 million. "All people and horses are safe and secure, and I thank spectators, riders and support teams for their understanding and co-operation during what was a hard situation", the show's president, Nina Barbour, said on Facebook.

Vanessa Coleman