A YOUNG boy was reportedly taken to safety after a car caught fire in the car park of a Bournemouth shopping centre yesterday afternoon.

Witnesses said the boy - who was sat in a vehicle parked behind the car which caught ablaze - had to be rescued by a member of the public.

Firefighters from Springbourne and Redhill were called to the Mallard Road Retail Park shortly after 12.35pm after the car burst into flames.

Chloe Dibben, 14, who spoke with the permission of her parents, said: “The fire started on one car and spread to the two either side of it.

“There was a young boy on his own in the car behind the one on fire, and a man had to break in to the car to rescue him. The boy seemed a bit shaken up.

“The man came into Aldi in search of the boy’s parents, describing what had happened. His parents were found and then told.”

The vehicle which first caught on fire was badly damaged. Cars parked next to it were also damaged.

A spokesperson from the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said "multiple calls" reporting the fire were made.

"Springbourne fire station mobilised initially, and then Redhill fire station was sent to assist due to other vehicles becoming involved," he said.

"The fire was extinguished using two sets of breathing masks and four hoses."

Eye-witnesses reported seeing "huge flames".

"Everyone was gathered around looking at it," one said.

"It was absolutely destroyed by the fire. It was incredibly smoky."