More than 3,500 hire cars were destroyed at a massive fire at a Florida airport

Over 3,500 rental cars were partly or entirely destroyed in a massive fire near a Florida airport.

As Mail Online reports, the cars were in a grassy area, which was used as an overflow lot by car rental companies at Southwest Florida International Airport. The dry grass field caught fire on the night of April 3rd.

Firefighters were doing their best containing the fire, using helicopters dumping water, as the flames were spreading across the parking lot. Some witnesses shared they heard multiple small explosions and saw flames leaping high into the air.

Fort Myers News-Press assures the vehicles were not occupied.

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On Friday, around 8 p.m., the fire was rapidly spreading, and the flames were getting incredibly higher.

By that time, two helicopters were still dropping water, and firetrucks were emptying their tanks, in a bid to stop the spread of the blaze.

According to Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, ‘over 80 drops’ were made over the massive fire. They posted a series of pictures showing the colossal extent of the damage the flames had caused. Thousands of vehicles were on fire that night.

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The car rental parking lot at the airport was busier than usual due to the quarantine. Understandably, fewer people had hired vehicles while most flights are delayed or suspended. Luckily, Vicki Moreland, a spokeswoman from the airport, reports that there are another 3,850 undamaged vehicles.

As per Melinda Avni, Mitigation Specialist for Florida Forestry Service of Caloosahatchee, firefighters were called to put out the fire at around 5 p.m., when only around 20 vehicles were on fire. Avni told WINK:

“By the time we had units on the scene, we had 100 cars [on fire]. We lost count after the hundreds.”

The air traffic or other operations at the airport were not affected by the fire, as Arlene Salac, a spokeswoman for the FAA, reassures. 

The airport was grateful to all the agencies who quickly responded to the horrifying blaze:

“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.”

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.

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