FLAMES engulfed a car which was on fire off London Road this afternoon (Friday).

Smoke and flames billowed from the silver taxi which was alight in Camp Hill Road near the junction of Sebright Avenue.

Firefighters had to wearing masks and breathing apparatus because of the amount of smoke as they brought the fire under control at 1pm.

While they managed to extinguish the flames, there was little they could do to save the taxi which was destroyed in the fire.

Eyewitness Doug Chaplin said: "Around 1pm, on my way back from Tesco, I saw the taxi pulled in at the side of Camp Hill Road between Battle Road and Sebright Avenue, with smoke only coming from under the bonnet.

"The driver had already got out of the car.

"I thought the engine had overheated because there was only a small amount of smoke so, after I pulled into my driveway, I walked back and found the driver who was ringing the fire brigade.

"I went back to my house and came back out a short time later and flames were licking out of the bonnet then it went up very quickly after that.

"The fire brigade arrived in around five minutes time.

"Fortunately the taxi was a diesel, and so there wasn’t the same risk of a large explosion as there would have been with a petrol engine.

"I feel sorry for the driver whose taxi it is but I imagine it will be covered by his insurance hopefully.

"The main thing was he was safe and so was everyone else and nobody was injured."