Fire burns 100+ motorcycles, ATVs, watercraft
St. Johns County firefighters keep blaze away from buildings
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – St. Johns County firefighters and the State Fire Marshall's Office are looking for a cause of a fire that nearly wiped out a motorcycle dealership on U.S. Highway 1 on Monday.
More than 100 brand new vehicles were damaged or destroyed by the fire.
The first report that a couple motorcycles were burning on the lot of First Coast Yamaha, Kawasaki and Polaris came in just after 11 a.m. By the time firefighters arrived, dozens of motorcycles and other motorized vehicles were on fire, billowing black smoke over St. Augustine.
"This wasn't a routine call," St. Johns County Fire Rescue Lt. Jeremy Robshaw said. "Multiple ATVs, motorcycles, personal watercraft, jet skis that were actively burning, creating a very hot fire, a very intense fire."
SLIDESHOW: Fighting fire at motorcycle dealership
Firefighters battled the blaze for about 40 minutes and were able to keep the fire away from nearby buildings.
"Our biggest concern was not only containing it, but was protecting the fire from spreading to the residential and commercial (buildings) that are very close to this site," Robshaw said.
Firefighters remained on site the rest of the day cooling off hot spots. Investigators say it could take days to determine what caused the fire.
"There's probably a million different ways it could happen," said the dealership's owner Mark Allen. "They can't catch on fire themselves, that's for sure."
While picking through the blackened skeletons nearly $1 million worth of vehicles, Allen was relieved that no one was hurt and was trying to stay in good spirits.
"Get it cleaned up quick, get it resolved, call the insurance company, hopefully get some replacement inventory in and keep going," he said.