Massive fire destroys, damages more than 3,500 rental cars near Florida airport

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A fire that burned for hours in a grassy area next to a Florida airport damaged or destroyed more than 3,500 rental cars before being contained late Friday night. The fire spanned 15 acres in an area where extra rental cars are parked to service the Southwest Florida International Airport. Witnesses saw and heard multiple small explosions, flames jumping high in the air and showers of sparks. The cars weren’t occupied at the time of the fire. At around 8 p.m. Friday, the fire spread, and the flames got higher even as two helicopters dropped water and firetrucks emptied their tanks. There were 3,516 cars destroyed or damaged by the fire, and 3,850 were undamaged, according to Vicki Moreland, communication director for the airport.