May 17, 2020

Intense flames were roaring near a Florida airport on the third of April. The fires were burning intensely for a number of hours. The flames destroyed thousands of dollars worth of rental cars and made the surrounding public concerned for the safety of the airport and its passengers. 

Authorities were called to quench the inferno around 5 p.m on April third. Witnesses called and said they had heard small explosions, saw flames jumping high in the air, and sparks. When the call was made to the local authorities, only twenty rental cars had been involved. By the time that they had arrived on the scene, the fire had already spread. Melindsa Avni-Mitigation, specialist for Florida Forestry Service of Caloosahatchee stated that “by the time [they] had units on the scene, [they] had one hundred cars [on fire].” The brush surrounding the overflow had caught on fire which caused the fire to spread. 

The smoke could be seen from miles away. The fire had brought some curious onlookers. They began gathering around the area of where the fire was happening despite social distancing efforts for COVID-19. To calm any possible injuries, the road to the airport was closed that Friday night as well as the airport. The fire took approximately eighteen hours to be deemed contained by the authorities. It was officially contained on Saturday, April forth at 10:30 a.m.. Authorities stated that no structures at the airport had been damaged and no injuries were reported. The airport reopened at 11:00 p.m on Friday night. In total over 3,500 rental cars were destroyed but from the efforts of different departments, they ended up saving 3,850 rental cars.

The fire, although costly, was partially expected by locals. This is due to the climate conditions in Florida as of recently. Most counties are experiencing some form of a drought and susceptible to more fires. This means many areas either moderate to a high risk for any type of fires. As previously mentioned, the cause of fire is under investigation. Many believe it is due to the dry conditions and high heat that this area has been experiencing. Locals applauded how quickly the departments rushed to extinguish the fires.

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