Huge fire at a Florida airport cripples rental fleets, destroying thousands 3,500 hire vehicles on Friday
The fire spread across 15 acres raging through the night to early Saturday, but nobody was hurt
Blaze ripped through at a rental car overflow area near Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, in a southwest Florida, on Friday afternoon
Another 3,850 vehicles were undamaged as firefighters contained the fire late Friday night
Witnesses heard explosions and flames leaping high into the air at Southwest Florida International Airport
Firefighters were able to contain the inferno with over 80 drops of water from two helicopters and firetrucks
Thousands of rental cars at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers caught fire and had to be extinguished using helicopters to dump water on the blaze that was finally contained early Saturday, leaving the burned shells
Over 3,500 rental cars were damaged or destroyed in the huge blaze at the RSW Airport car parking lot in Fort Myers, Florida on Friday. Witnesses said they heard multiple small explosions and flames leaping high into the air as the flames spread across the airport parking lot
By around 8pm, the fire appeared to be spreading with the flames getting higher even as two helicopters continued to drop water and firetrucks emptied their tanks in a bid to halt the spread of the blaze.
Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said that ‘over 80 drops’ were made over ‘this massive fire’.
It is thought the car rental parking lot was busier then usual due o the coronavirus lockdown as fewer customers had hired vehicles while most flights are suspended and travel restrictions in place.
Photographs from the scene of the inferno after it was extinguished showed rows or burnt out cars spread across the lot. However, another 3,850 vehicles were undamaged.
An aerial view of the parking lot shows the extent of the fire as thousands of vehicles burned simultaneously through the night. As many as 3,500 were damaged in the inferno
Photographs taken Saturday after the inferno was extinguished showed rows or burnt out rental fleets spread across the vast overflow lot on.
The Florida Forestry Service of Caloosahatchee, confirmed that authorities were called to put out the blaze at around 5pm, when around 20 vehicles were on fire.
‘By the time we had units on the scene, we had 100 cars [on fire]. We lost count after the hundreds,’ Melinda Avni, Mitigation Specialist for the agency said.
Furthermore the vehicles were not occupied, at the time.
Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire.On Saturday morning, the Forest Service returned to the scene to make sure the fire did not start again.
Arlene Salac, a spokeswoman for the FAA, said the fire did not effect air traffic or operations at the airport.