Papakura residents were awoken early this morning to the sounds of explosions, and arose to find a car ablaze in a nearby parking lot.

Corey Hampson woke up about 5am to the sound of "bangs" in Red Hill.

"I thought they were fireworks at first, then I looked outside the window and saw a bit of smoke," he said.

Hampson heard another bang and woke his friend, and they went outside to investigate.

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They spotted a car parked across the middle of a parking lot near the dairy, he said.

There was a man in another car stopped in the middle of the road, beeping his horn and yelling out that there was a fire.

"He was just yelling 'there's a car on fire'."

Hampson and his friend watched the fire for about 10 minutes until the fire brigade arrived and put it out.

Nobody appeared to have been in the car.