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Fire Destroys Thousands Of Rental Cars At Florida Airport

Fire Destroys Thousands Of Rental Cars At Florida Airport

Thousands of rental cars have been destroyed after a fire ripped through a car park in the US over the weekend.

More than 3,500 vehicles were burnt out by the blaze after it swept across the parking lot at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers.

Harrowing footage has been shared online by the local police force, showing thick clouds of black smoke rising from the wreckage as emergency responders try to tackle the fire.

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According to reports, it took firefighters 18 hours to get the 15-acre blaze under control as they dropped water onto the burning cars from helicopters, as well as from trucks that rushed to the scene.

It's understood that no one was in any of the cars and reports state that another 3,850 vehicles were not damaged.

Bystanders told local media outlets that they heard a number of small explosions coming from the car park as the fire burned through the site.

More than 3,500 cars were destroyed in the blaze. Credit: Charlotte County Sheriff's Office
More than 3,500 cars were destroyed in the blaze. Credit: Charlotte County Sheriff's Office
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Melinda Avni, Mitigation Specialist for Florida Forestry Service of Caloosahatchee, told the press that emergency services were called at round 5pm (Friday 3 April), with about 20 vehicles working at one time to get the fire under control.

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Ms Avni went on to explain how the brush surrounding the overflow area of the car park caught fire and helped to spread the fire much more quickly.

However, despite the size of the blaze, none of the airport's buildings were damaged.

Speaking to WINK, she said: "By the time we had units on the scene, we had 100 cars [on fire]. We lost count after the hundreds."

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A spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration said that neither air traffic nor operations at the airport were adversely affected.

Following the fire, the airport took to social media to thank all those who rushed to the scene to stop the blaze before it caused more damage.

Writing on Facebook, a spokesperson said: "We appreciate their courage and willingness to help our Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting department. Together they were able to keep all our passengers and airport visitors safe."

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The authorities have now launched an investigation into the cause of the fire.

Featured Image Credit: Charlotte County Sheriff's Office

Topics: US News

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]