LANDOVER, Md. -- A fire that originated from a small barbeque grill placed in the trunk of a car after tailgating ignited and caused $150,000 in damages to 9 vehicles in a FedEx Field parking lot in Landover, Md.
Tailgating is a football tradition. When parking lots open up four hours before game time, a long line of vehicles are waiting to grab the prime spots for setting up the pre-game celebrations. Many of the festivities include grilling a variety of food on the barbeque. With grilling come charcoal briquettes -- hot burning charcoal briquettes.
The Washington Redskins have tailgating rules posted on their website and in their stadium guide. The last item on a list of rules states:
"Prior to entering FedEx Field, please extinguish all flames and grills. Ash dumpsters are available throughout the lots for your convenience."
Fire investigators believe that prior to entering the stadium, a patron stored a recently used small BBQ grill, with coals still inside, in the trunk of their vehicle.
Just after 8:30 p.m., Monday, a 9-1-1 call was received reporting an auto fire in the Orange Lot -- Section H34. A sold out game and over 90,000 fans equates to parking being at a premium.
Vehicles are often parked in close proximity to each other and the fire quickly spread to nearby vehicles. There was a total of 20 firefighters on-board four engines from Kentland (2), Chapel Oaks and the engine assigned to Fed Ex Field that battled the blaze for nearly 25 minutes before the fire was contained and extinguished.
A total of nine vehicles sustained damage from the fire. Fire loss is estimated at $150,000. There were no injuries reported.