10 Cars Burn in Arena Lot After Threat

Police said there was no connection between a bomb threat against Continental Airlines Arena and a fire that damaged 10 cars in a parking lot during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Friday night.


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Police said there was no connection between a bomb threat against Continental Airlines Arena and a fire that damaged 10 cars in a parking lot during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Friday night.

The fire likely was caused by tailgaters who left coals burning on a portable grill, said Trooper John Quinlan of the New Jersey State Police.

Canine units investigated the bomb threat and nothing unusual was found at the arena, said State Police Spokesman Steve Jones. The threat was called in to the East Rutherford Police Department at 10:15 p.m., according to Police Lt. Dennis Rivelli.

The fire was in Lot 12C of Giants Stadium, an overflow lot for those attending the game between the New Jersey Nets and the San Antonio Spurs.

The lot is hundreds of yards away from the arena, separated by a four-lane road and only accessible by a long pedestrian tunnel.

By the time most fans reached the lot, only three damaged vehicles remained: an SUV that had been completely gutted, and two smaller sedans with their windows blown out and interior damage.

Inspectors sifted through the ashes below the Suburban on Friday night, taking photographs and samples.

The Spurs beat the Nets 93-83 to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.