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Investigators Piecing Together What Caused Fire To Break Out At Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A well-known flea market and drive-in is now cleaning up after a fire scorched through storage containers and a movie screen.

"Oh my gosh, this is crazy because we were just walking and we seen the fire and we was just like what's going on?" Nate Toussaint said.

Firefighters are still investigating the cause of the fire at the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop and Thunderbird Drive-In.

"Multiple callers say they saw flames coming from the screen itself," Lauderhill Fire Department Division Chief Jerry Gonzalez said.

The blaze broke out around 11:30 a.m. Monday. The first crews arrived on the scene to heavy smoke and fire coming from screen five.

"The screen itself is surrounded by multiple shipping containers, storage, sheds, that are all connected to the screen and it appears where the fire might have started. There's a lot of combustible material in there, clothing, wood," Gonzalez explained.

Lauderhill Fire Department crews also found propane and gasoline, but that doesn't explain what ignited the flames.

"The furniture, clothes, new one, she bought it from a couple days ago," Jacques Belizaire explained on behalf of his friend, Examen Thomas, a fellow vendor.

Her merchandise was in a container that burned. She's not sure how much money was lost. She's just in the beginning stages of filing a claim.

Other visitors remarked what a sad sight it was to see vendors lose their product, as well as the impact it may have to the longtime drive-in.

"We wondered if all their stuff burned up, we feel bad for the person who was probably selling," Toussaint added.

According to the Thunderbird's website, the screens are down for renovation, but did not mention when they would be back up.


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