Shopping centre evacuated after car fire

Black smoke coming from the multi-storey car park
Black smoke could be seen coming from the multi-storey car park [BBC]

A shopping centre was evacuated after a vehicle fire in the car park.

Emergency crews responded to the incident at Regent Arcade in Cheltenham following a fire in the attached multi-storey car park.

The incident was reported at about 14:45 BST, with police seen parked by the High Street entrance and black smoke billowing across the town.

A spokesperson for Regent Arcade confirmed that the building's "evacuation procedure" was rolled out. Fire crews said the stop message was received at 16:32 BST.

People walking past two parked police vehicles on Cheltenham High Street
Emergency services were called shortly before 15:00 BST [BBC]

Three fire engines from Cheltenham attended the scene to battle the flames.

A spokesperson for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service said: "We were called at 14:45 to a fire in the car park of the Regent Arcade in Cheltenham.

"Three fire engines from Cheltenham attended the scene and used four breathing apparatus, a hose reel and a dry powder fire extinguisher to put out the fire.

"The stop message was received at 16:32."

Motorists who parked their vehicles in the car park are now being allowed to exit via the Regent Street entrance, a Cheltenham Borough Council spokesperson said.

"We ask for patience as this could take some time to ensure it can be done safely," they added.

"Some cars parked on the first floor may not be able to be exited safely due to the location of the fire."

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