Matt Robinson profile picture Matt Robinson 4 months ago 19
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3500 Rental Cars Consumed By Huge Fire At Florida Airport

An inferno at Southwest Florida International Airport destroyed over 3500 rental cars over the weekend

Remind me later
Image via Charlotte County Sheriff's Office
Image via Charlotte County Sheriff's Office

Fire crews were called to tackle a huge blaze at Southwest Florida International Airport last Friday, which ripped through a rental car overflow car park.

Every fire department in Lee County was on the scene, with further assistance coming from Collier and Charlotte counties. There were also 80 water airdrops via a Huey helicopter, with the combined effort finally bringing the blaze under control by Saturday morning.

Image via Charlotte County Sheriff's Office
Image via Charlotte County Sheriff's Office

By that time, the fire had covered an area of 15 acres and consumed over 3500 vehicles, nearly half the number parked there. The surviving 3800 were moved elsewhere and escaped damage.

It’s not hard to see how it was able to spread so successfully - the cars were tightly packed together on a dry grassy field, at a time of year when temperatures regularly exceed 30 degrees. It’s safe to assume the lot was fuller than usual due to the downturn in travel caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Image via Charlotte County Sheriff's Office
Image via Charlotte County Sheriff's Office

Being a rental car lot, the vast majority of the cars would have been of the generic variety. But given the sheer number of vehicles that met their doom, a fair few will have been nice ones - think of the usual top-tier rental options like Ford Mustangs and Chevrolet Camaros. Some companies will even rent you a Corvette.

So, while we don’t have a list of the cars lost, it’s safe to say it’s worth pressing F.

Sources: WINK News, CNN