8 Cars Ruined, 10 Damaged in Sea-Tac Garage Fire

By DOUG ESSER | May 2, 2013

A fire at the Sea-Tac Airport parking garage Tuesday morning destroyed at least eight cars and damaged another 10 with heat and smoke, causing an estimated $250,000 in losses, spokesman Perry Cooper said.

No one was injured, but some travelers will be returning to find they need another ride home.

Airport workers were using license plate numbers to track down the owners.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to contact them so at least they have a heads up,” Cooper said. The scorched cars were parked on the sixth floor at the north end of the garage.

Investigators believe the fire was started by a mechanical failure in one of the vehicles. Flames spread from car to car in the general parking area of the garage, which was mostly full with vehicles left by mid-week business travelers, Cooper said.

Port of Seattle firefighters responded before 7 a.m. to reports of smoke. They controlled the fire in about half an hour with help from the city of SeaTac Fire Department.

Airport operations remained normal, Cooper said. The arrival and departure drives remained open. Ticketing and flights were not affected.

Smoke closed a service tunnel at the airport. Some doors to the terminal were closed when smoke started to drift in, he said. The area around the fire was closed for cleanup work.

“Also of note, this appears to be the first multiple-vehicle fire we’ve ever had here,” Cooper said in an email. “Our fire folks have been here 25 to 30 years. Usually these things are one vehicle, pretty minor and put out by a fire extinguisher.”

The Port of Seattle, which operates the airport, says it has the world’s biggest parking garage with room for 13,000 cars under one roof.

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