Fire officials have confirmed a diesel-powered car was the cause of a blaze that may have damaged up to 1500 vehicles at a multi-storey car park at London’s Luton Airport.

    The first calls regarding the fire were received by Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service at 8:47pm on Tuesday, October 10, with the parking structure in turn experiencing a significant structural collapse.

    The fire rapidly spread from the car, parked on the third level of the car park, with firefighters battling throughout the night to stop the flames from reaching nearby buildings, vehicles, aircraft and the Luton DART rail line.

    It’s unclear what vehicle started the fire, and what caused it to burst into flames. The Telegraph has, however, published footage of what appears to be a burning Range Rover parked in the middle of an aisle inside the structure.

    An investigation into the cause of the blaze is underway. Up to 1500 vehicles had been parked inside the structure at the time of the blaze, and images of the car park show scores have been burnt to a crisp.

    A ramp is being installed so that undamaged vehicles can be removed.

    15 rescue pumps, three aerial appliances and over 100 firefighters were on the scene at the height of the fire, and flights in and out of the airport were suspended.

    Five people – four of them firefighters – were treated for smoke inhalation.

    The fire was finally extinguished around 9am on Wednesday morning but the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said it still had personnel on site later that afternoon to monitor hot spots.

    Flights in and out of the airport were resumed that afternoon.

    The Service’s chief fire officer, Andrew Hopkinson, told The Independent the car park had no sprinklers, which he says would have made a positive impact.

    The structure may need to be demolished as a result of the destructive fire.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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