Inconsiderate parking hampered firefighters' efforts to put out a garage blaze last night.

Crews were called to a fire in a garage in Lynmouth Avenue, off Stonecot Hill, at around 10pm. But when they arrived they found one end of the narrow road blocked by parked cars and had to use a special key to remove a width restriction from the other end to get into the road.

They then found fire hydrants near the blaze were blocked by more parked cars and had to get the owners to move them. By the time they were able to tackle the fire the garage, and a car inside, were completely destroyed.

An investigation is now underway to establish whether the fire was started deliberately.

Watch manager Ian Haness, from Sutton fire station, said: "The parked cars made it a difficult fire to deal with. Once we managed to get to the garage it was very easy - it was quite a small, self-contained fire.

"There have been quite a few suspicious fires in that area lately so this fire is being investigated."