Multiple exotic vehicles destroyed in Fort Lauderdale house fire

'You could smell burning rubber,' neighbor says

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a fire at a million-dollar home in Fort Lauderdale that housed exotic vehicles in its garage.

"This house was built specifically for cars, for exotic cars," neighbor Barry Zimmerman said.

Video shows the aftermath of the massive fire that started about 9 p.m. Tuesday in the 1600 block of Southeast 12th Court. 

The flames tore through the $1.7 million home that was full of pricey cars.

"You could smell burning rubber. You could smell burning metal," Zimmerman said.

The two-alarm fire sparked inside the garage, according to Fort Lauderdale firefighters.

It took close to 50 firefighters to put out the flames. 

Crews later used a saw to cut their way inside the home.

"Apparently the upstairs is OK, from what I heard, and the downstairs is just trashed," realtor Kirk Bauer said. 

Bauer sold the home to its current owner, who is a well-known car collector, who lives in Canada and was out of town when the fire started. 

"His cars are important to him, so he was upset about his cars, for sure. Unfortunately, they're gone. He's smart. He's got insurance, I'm sure, and it'll be taken care of," Bauer said.

Among the cars destroyed were an $80,000 2013 Nissan GTR, $430,000 2016 Bentley Moulsane, $350,000 2018 Porsche 911 special, $28,000 1973 Volkswagen Thing and a $130,000 2018 Tesla Model XB100B.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue officials said a $27,000 Harley Davidson was also burned in the fire, as well as two golf carts and two personal watercrafts. 

Investigators were back at the scene Wednesday morning, trying to figure out what sparked the blaze.

"I had heard, actually, that it maybe was a battery tender," Bauer said. "But the Tesla, when they pulled the Tesla out last night, you could hear it while it was on the flatbed. You could hear things popping within the Tesla."

About the Author:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.