A FAMILY had to flee a fire which tore through vehicles in a multi-storey car park in Newport yesterday, witnesses said.

The blaze, which is believed to have started accidentally in a Vauxhall Zafira vehicle parked in Park Square car park in Commercial Street, was tackled by firefighters from Maindee and Duffryn yesterday morning, just before 10am.

A witness said a couple and their two small children fled the Vauxhall Zafira moments before the fire took hold.

They moved so fast the driver left the keys inside the vehicle, which were later found melted together.

The car owner, believed to be from Blackwood, told him they had only had the car for around three weeks.

The witness said: “They jumped out of the car with the keys still in there – they were in it at the time.”

Gareth Thomas, 27, was trying to get into the car park when the fire started.

He said: “Thick black clouds of smoke came out and then explosions came from inside the car.

“I was just about to enter the car park when a member of the public said not to come in because a car was on fire.”

Sarah Acuz, 28, her husband, Hakan, 33, and their daughter, Elisa, three, of Tredegar, had their Ford Fiesta damaged in the fire.

“Wehad parked in here this morning to go shopping,” Mrs Acuz said.

“We came back about ten to 11 and saw our car had been damaged and the windscreen cracked. It is going to be a lot of money to pay for the damage.”

Mr Acuz said he was “frustrated”

because he would now have to pay for the damage, which he said “is not my fault”.

“We paid nearly £3,000 for that car,” he said.

Mike Reynolds, 50, construction tutor at I Tech in Commercial Street, said he had popped out the back when he sawthe thick smoke “billowing” out of the multistorey.

“We heard a fewloud explosions,” he said.

It has been confirmed that there were no injuries and no-one had to be rescued from the car park.

A spokesman for Newport City Council said: “Following a fire at Park Square car park this morning it is currently closed to newvehicles, however, those who have cars parked at the facility can remove their vehicles.

“There is currently a structural engineer on site assessing the damage caused. The car park will be closed until the outcome is known.”