An explosion in a police car outside an election count in Leicestershire is being investigated.
Fire crews were called to the patrol car on fire outside the Bosworth parliamentary count at Hinckley Leisure Centre.
No-one was injured in the explosion but glass was blown across Coventry Road.
Steve Moore, watch manager at Hinckley Fire Station said it was “probably malicious”.
The explosion sprayed glass and debris across Coventry Road in Hinckley, and caused damage to nearby buildings.
Firefighters who attended the scene said there was strong reason to suspect it was set alight on purpose.
People inside the Bosworth constinuency count – which is taking place at Hinckley Leisure Centre – heard the bang at around 2.30am.
The car is understood to have ben parked in the street by police officers providing security at the election count.
Hinckley fire station watch manager Steve Moore said his firefighters were spraying the burning car when the explosion happened.
He said: “It’s probably malicious, that’s what it’s looking like anyway.
“It’s a well serviced vehicle and there’s no indication of an engine fault. I haven’t seen a police car go up like that before.
“We sent one fire engine, and the firefighters were fully involved in quite a spectacular explosion which sent glass 60ft across the road. A fireman was right next to it when it exploded and the windows were blown out.
“He would have been covered in glass but he’s OK.
“It’s caused substantial damage to the building next door.”
Lorry driver Daljit Singh, from Leicester, was stuck behind the cordone for around half an hour.
He said: “I saw the fire brigade when I drove up and it was already in flames.
“The road was blocked and there were some pretty big flames coming out of it.”