Shopping centre evacuated as fire crews tackle huge blaze

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A city shopping centre has been evacuated as fire crews tackled a huge blaze in a neighbouring car park.

Emergency services descended on the multi-storey next to Capitol Centre in Cardiff city centre. Shoppers reported a “thick rancid smell and plumes of smoke” moments after the fire started, followed by several loud bangs.

Shoppers were evacuated from Capitol Centre, home to several high street brands, which is next to the car park. People using the gym in the centre were also asked to leave the building.

“Several loud explosions were heard. No one is injured as far as I can see – luckily cars next to it were largely undamaged,” one witness told Wales Online. 

“This sounded quite loud. I looked out the window and could see what looked like a White VW on fire on the top floor of the Capitol Centre. Fire crew were at the scene and extinguished flames.”

Photographs which have been shared on social media show a thick plume of grey smoke billowing across the city centre.

Other dramatic snaps show flames roar from a white vehicle on the roof of the large car park. The images suggest no other vehicles were damaged.

Writing online, a Cardiff resident said: “I hope everyone is okay. I hope no one is hurt.”

Another posted: “This is so sad to see. I hope everyone is safe.”

Two fire crews rushed to the blaze at around 11.40am.

A spokesperson for South West Fire and Rescue Service said: “At approximately 11:39am on Monday 27 March 2023, we received reports of a vehicle fire in a multi-storey car park on Queen Street, Cardiff.

“Crews from Roath and Ely Fire and Rescue Stations attended the scene and extinguished the fire using specialist equipment.”

The blaze has now been put out.

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