NEW: Accidental fire at tow yard near turnpike destroys 20 cars

Jan 03, 2018
Palm Beach County Fire Rescue crews battle a fire at a tow yard in unincorporated West Palm Beach on Tuesday night. (Provided by Palm Beach County Fire Rescue)

A fire that damaged nearly two dozen vehicles in a tow yard near Florida’s Turnpike on Tuesday night was accidental, a Palm Beach County Fire Rescue spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

The blaze, which tore through about 20 cars on the lot in the 800 block of Pike Road between Belvedere Road and Southern Boulevard west of West Palm Beach, was sparked by a vehicle battery that had not been removed, Fire Rescue spokesman Capt. Albert Borroto said.

The blaze forced Fire Rescue crews to close the road to traffic about 9 p.m. Tuesday. Smoke from the fire could be smelled in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach.

In photos posted to the Fire Rescue Twitter account on Wednesday morning, crews are seen battling the fire as it overtakes several cars — some with previous collision damage.

A photo taken of the lot from above after the fire was put out shows almost a dozen charred vehicles surrounded in fire-retardant foam, their tires melted and windows blown out by the heat.