A SECURITY guard punched through the window of a car to rescue a 10-year-old boy after a nearby vehicle set ablaze on Saturday afternoon.

Sam Webb, an operations manager for a security subcontracting firm, was working at Mallard Road Retail Park when the fire began.

The 22-year-old spotted a plume of smoke as he stood near the entrance of Smyths Toy Superstore and immediately rushed out to help.

After calling for members of the public to stand back from the burning vehicle, he heard someone scream: "There's a kid in that car."

He then spotted the boy in the back of a Nissan X-Trail. Unable to open the car doors, he punched the window, breaking two of the bones in his fingers.

A man who came to help then pulled the boy through the smashed window.

Sam said there were three cars on fire, including an Audi. The X-Trail was parked next to one of the vehicles which had gone up in flames.

"I'd been working when I saw this dirty great plume of smoke go back the front door of Smyths," he said.

"I went straight out and saw this almighty fire.

"I was told later it was an engine fire, and the owner opened the bonnet, which obviously made it go up."

Sam was urging onlookers to keep away from the vehicle when he heard the woman scream.

"I just ran out to the X-Trail, not even thinking, and put the window through," he said.

"I punched it to get through it. I broke two bones in my fingers, and I had loads of glass in my hand."

He said the boy was "panicking".

"When I tried the doors of the car, they wouldn't open," he said.

"The other man with me pulled him out of the window."

The boy's mum later took to social media to say he had been left briefly while she went into Aldi.

"My son is 10 years old and, as you can imagine, hates shopping," she said.

"I let him stay in the car, which was parked near the front of Aldi. It was the only shop we were popping into.

"We locked the car and told him not to speak to strangers (which is why he didn't open the door to the men who, thankfully, saw him in the car).

"Because he followed our instruction, as he always does, the men had to break the window, and it was then that he realised there was a fire."

She added: "Unfortunately, we cannot foresee the unforeseeable and would never have anticipated a car bursting into flames when leaving him.

"It will not be something I'll be doing again."

Firefighters from Springbourne and Redhill were called to the car park shortly after 12.35pm after the car burst into flames.

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