Fire near Memphis International Raceway during event - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Fire near Memphis International Raceway during event

Posted: Updated:
  • Fire near Memphis International Raceway during eventMore>>

  • Get FOX13 Breaking News on your mobile device

    Get FOX13 Breaking News on your mobile device

    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
    Get breaking news alerts on your mobile device direct from the FOX13 news desk. On average, you could get as many as three to five alerts on a busy day, as the news merits. Just fill out the form below
    Get breaking news alerts on your mobile device direct from the FOX13 news desk. On average, you could get as many as three to five alerts on a busy day, as the news merits. Just fill out the form below
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Twenty-two cars go up in flames after a brush fire gets out of control. Dry conditions and heavy winds led to a fire in a field near the Memphis International Raceway in Millington, leaving the cars of several race fans charred black and hollowed out. 

No one was injured, and fire officials haven't confirmed an official cause, but they tell us the fire may have started with hot exhaust from cars parked on tall dry grass. That combined with the heavy winds was a recipe for disaster. 

Kaleb Hager drove up from Little Rock, Arkansas to catch the races, but now he stands with dozens of other fans, waiting anxiously to get to his car and see the damage he's dealing with. 

"We were actually starting to leave, and we could see the smoke coming from across the pit stands," Hager said, "We saw the smoke and it got up high, of course it was right behind my truck." 

It took two fire departments and two dozen firefighters a total of 55 minutes to put out this fire. Fire officials say the wind didn't help. 

"The high winds in this event really caused a lot of problems off the top," Shelby County Public Information Officer Brent Perkins said, "The amount of fire load we had going through the grass really made it progress rapidly." 

Races were delayed about 30 minutes as fans rushed to see if their cars were in flames.  Race officials say the lot on fire is not owned or maintained by their organization.

"Really the message we want to get out to our fans is to park in our lots, our lots are free," President & CEO of IRG Sports & Entertainment Jason Rittenberry said, "This is a paid parking lot, fans were paying to park here on some property that's not owned and not maintained by the racetrack so really we didn't have any control of what was happening in this lot or the fans that were parking there." 

Fans say they didn't have many options, but this will definitely make them think twice about parking on grass ever again. 

"Everything was full down there so we came back and paid $10 to park in there," Hager said, "When we got out, the grass was neck high, my dad got out and came around the other side because the grass was up to here on him." 

At the end of the day many fans were left wondering how they were going to get home without their cars. 

Follow us: @myfoxmemphis on Twitter | fox13news.myfoxmemphis on Facebook

Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices