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April 30, 2013 at 9:16 AM

10 cars burn, others damaged by smoke in Sea-Tac garage fire

Ten cars were involved in an early morning car fire at the north end of the sixth floor garage at Sea-Tac International Airport Tuesday morning. No injuries were reported. (Photo by Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

UPDATE AT 11 A.M.: Investigators believe the cause of the fire was a mechanical failure in one of the vehicles. Early damage estimate for the vehicles is $250,000, with at least eight vehicles totaled and two others with some fire damage.

ORIGINAL POST: Smoke and flames from an early-morning fire have damaged or destroyed at least 10 cars in a busy portion of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport parking garage.

Airport spokesman Perry Cooper said five cars were destroyed by the fire, five others were damaged by fire and perhaps another 10 to 20 were damaged by smoke that poured through the garage’s sixth floor.

“I don’t have an estimate of the number of vehicles yet, but it’s pretty obvious just looking around that there is smoke damage to other cars in the area,” Cooper said.

Cooper said the fire was spotted by a Port of Seattle police officer about 6:45 a.m. Firefighters from the Port of Seattle and City of SeaTac battled the blaze, which sent smoke billowing through the north end of the sixth floor.

“We have some cars with their hoods up and pretty well melted, and others with their windows knocked out,”  Cooper said.  He said “particulate matter” from the smoke was settling on other cars, adding he’s not sure how much damage the smoke has caused to those vehicles.

No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Cooper said it does not appear to be suspicious.

Cooper said it did not appear that the owners of any of the cars were present at the time of the fire, adding,  “Most of these folks are probably away on business trips.”

He said the airport is trying to identify owners through license plate numbers to let them know what happened to their vehicles.

The fire occurred in a part of the garage that is heavily used because it is near the Alaska and United ticket counters, Cooper said.

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