Five brand new Toyota cars waiting to be delivered to the public transport company, Mowasalat, were gutted when a fire broke out in the huge car park behind the Toyota Tower, near Al Mana traffic intersection, yesterday.
No casualties were reported. The Civil Defence Department, while confirming the incident, said no one suffered any injuries.
A senior Civil Defence official told The Peninsula last evening that the blaze broke out at 12.34pm and timely intervention by his department prevented the flames from spreading to other vehicles.
An estimated 100 vehicles are believed to have been parked in the sprawling parking lot behind the Toyota showroom at the time. Most of these cars belonged to people staying nearby as there are densely populated residential areas around the place.
“Firefighters rushed to the site as soon as information about the fire was received and they could contain it, or it would have easily spread,” the Civil Defence official said.
Asked about the cause of the fire, he said the incident was still under investigation.
Eyewitnesses said they heard explosions a little after noon. “It was not a powerful explosion but I could hear it from at least half-a-kilometre away, where I stay,” said an eyewitness not wanting his name in print.
Another eyewitness said he was driving on the C Ring Road near the Al Mana intersection a little after 12.30pm and he could see thick clouds of smoke billowing from the parking lot behind the Toyota showroom.
“I was bringing my daughter back from tuitions at the time and saw thick clouds of smoke billowing over the car park. I immediately knew there was something wrong,” the eyewitness said.
No one had a clue as to what triggered the blaze but it is suspected that a spark from the battery of any of the five affected cars could have ignited it.
All the five Camry cars that were burnt down were brand new and parked together and were to be delivered to Mowasalat, the Civil Defence official who confirmed the incident, added.
Neither Karwa nor Toyota showroom officials could be immediately contacted for comment.
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