A businessman had a lucky escape afterhis £10,000 classic car burst into flames with him inside.

Marcus Pacitto, of Redcar’s famous Pacitto family of ice cream makers, was turning over the engine of his Fiat 124 Spider when there was a big bang.

"It all happened very quickly," he said. "Within seconds the car and garage were on fire. 

“The car was a thing of beauty but it’s now completely gone.

“The roof of the garage is gone as well and there’s damage to the brickwork. I don’t know how much it will cost to fix.”

Mr Pacitto says he bought the 33-year-old car for himself as a 40th birthday present. It was the only classic car he owned but, despite it being insured, he can't afford to replace it.

“The car was worth more than the metal it was made from, but the most important thing is that nobody was hurt.

“The fire brigade were fantastic. They arrived really quickly and made sure the fire didn’t get out of control.”

A spokesman for Cleveland fire brigade confirmed they had sent to engines to a garage fire in Granville Terrace, Redcar, at 1pm on Thursday, April 18.

Firemen using breathing apparatus had put out the blaze by 1.40pm