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Pics/Videos: 3,500+ cars destroyed in massive FL airport fire

A fire at the Southwest Florida International Airport spread across 15 acres and damaged more than 3,500 parked vehicles. (Charlotte County Sheriff's Office/Released)
April 06, 2020

More than 3,5000 rental cars was caught in a fire at the Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, Fla.

The fire broke out on Friday night. Videos of the inferno were posted to Twitter over the weekend.

The cars were shown parked in a grassy area, which was reportedly used as an overflow parking area for rental cars at the airport. Witnesses reportedly heard multiple explosions as the fire began to spread around the lot.

By around 8 p.m. Friday night, two helicopters were at the scene of the fire carrying water drops to help slow the spread of the fire.

Air units from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office completed over 80 drops of fire retardent to over the fire, according to a statement from the department.

By the time emergency services were called to the fire, at around 5 p.m., around 20 vehicles had already burned up, according to Melinda Avni, Mitigation Specialist for Florida Forestry Service of Caloosahatchee.

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

The fire was contained on Saturday after firefighter crews from every Lee County fire department as well as several fire departments in the neighboring Collier and Charlotte counties responded and continued to fight the fire overnight Friday, WINK News reported.

The Lee County Port Authority confirmed the total number of cars damaged or destroyed at 3,500 in a statement provided to WINK. Another 3,800 cars were undamaged and relocated.

In total, the fire burned across approximately 15 acres of area.

The Southwest Florida International Airport thanked the various police and fire responders for their handling of the fire in a Monday Facebook post.