TWO 13-year-old boys have been interviewed by police in connection with a fire on the top level of a multi-storey car park in Poole.

Four fire engines, an aerial ladder and a Land Rover battled the blaze involving a Bobcat digger at the Dolphin Shopping Centre Car Park last night.

It was initially reported to Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Control as a car fire, but a spokesperson later confirmed the fire involved a Bobcat digger.

Residents and passers-by reported hearing explosions as the construction vehicle went up in flames. 

Police were called to the scene just after 7.45pm and shut the entire car park. Surrounding roads were also closed.

A Dorset Police spokesman said: "Two 13-year-old boys, both from Poole, were voluntarily interviewed in connection with the incident and have been released pending further enquiries.

"Officers, together with Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, attended and discovered a large fire on the top floor of the car park involving a parked and unattended Bobcat digger that was being used for building work at the car park.

"Several propane gas cylinders were also involved and Kingland Road was closed while firefighters dealt with the fire and cooled the gas cylinders down.

"No one was injured in the incident."

Tim Spring, deputy area commander for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue said a member of the public was initially "blocked in" by the fire, but "managed to make it to a place of safety."

Some people were "inconvenienced by not being able to access their cars", he added.

He said crews were also concerned as a number of propane cylinders were affected by the fire, however they did not explode.

The top level of the multi-storey is currently closed for refurbishment work.

John Rice, engineering manager at the Borough of Poole, which owns the car park, said: “The machine that was on fire was part of the contractor’s site equipment at the Dolphin Shopping Centre.

“A small area of the completed works has been affected but until the site is cleared, that full impact cannot be accurately assessed.”

“However, we still anticipate the works will be completed on time.”

Phase one of the £2.3 million refurbishment is due to be completed by early November with the car park back to full capacity during the run up to Christmas.

Site manager Paul Borkowski told the Echo that he was confident the work would be finished on time - but that was because they were already ahead of their timeline.

“Unfortunately we were unable to get on with a lot of the work yesterday and had to turn away a 24 tonne delivery of asphalt because we needed the digger to transport it,” he added.

“We will still be finished on time but it has meant all the hard work to get ahead of time has been ruined.”

An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.