ETC

LIVERPOOL, England — Some 1,400 cars were reduced to burned-out shells in a dramatic multi-story blaze in a parking garage on the waterfront of the northwestern English city of Liverpool on New Year's Eve.

Images showed the remains of vehicles and the building coated in thick, gray dust, although no one was hurt. The blaze even melted the concrete floor of the structure in part of the seven-floor block, rendering it unstable, firefighters said.

All the estimated 1,400 vehicles in the parking garage, which has 1,600 spaces, were destroyed, Merseyside Police said.

Firefighters said an accidental fire within a vehicle caused other cars to ignite.

Many of those affected had been visiting the city for an international horse show in the adjacent Liverpool Echo Arena and were left stranded on New Year's Eve. Horses were led out of the arena and away from the blaze, and the Liverpool City Council opened an emergency shelter for those unable to get home.

"Liverpool Arena car park fire — thanks to all of our partners, joint working at its best — a significant fire with no loss of life, shelter provided, transport made available, medical assistance and dedicated emergency services," Merseyside Police said on its Twitter feed.

Reporting by Phil Noble and Estelle Shirbon

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