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See what happens when Corona virus cuts short FL's tourist season? (Massive Rental Car Fire)

I really don’t have much information, yet. However, I’m guessing that huge stock piles of rental cars, the result of diminished numbers of rental cars on the roads this season, contributed to this massive destruction of cars?

@Mustangman is near that area. Perhaps he’s got “the rest of the story,” as they say.

Seems strange…I’m wondering… How’d this happen? Anybody?
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

The cause was a brush fire that caught a bunch of rental cars on fire that were parked in a field near the airport. Nobody was renting them and parking on the grass down here is a lot like parking on pavement. Add in a bit of drought conditions because the rains haven’t yet come so the grass is dry.

Not sure what started it… maybe a hot catalytic converter from one of the rentals set it off.

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Any chance that I guessed right? Do you think that was a higher number of rentals in storage than usual because of a wiped out tourist season?

I don’t know, but that seems like a lot of parked rentals in one place. It’s a veritable ocean of cars. I’m trying to determine if the virus contributed to the scale of loss there.
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

Excess rental vehicles during this virus is just logical . Like the news videos showing hundreds of airliners parked all over the country .

That’s what I was thinking. Many of those cars could be virus victims.

More views and news…

:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

Only one passenger on an airliner… yikes!
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

I think you guessed right. Normally a significant portion those cars, I think, would be re-directed to other vacation areas up north during the summer months. Super-cheap one-way rentals of cars going to New England to promote this. So right now, those cars aren’t going north or being used so they are parked.

I saw that and couldn’t believe they had that many rental cars in storage there. I only had the choice of a couple of different ones. Well I shouldn’t say I had the choice. The one I picked, the wife rejected so I relented to the one she wanted. Color is everything. Might be a good chance to pick up a good used car from a real “fire sale”. Gotta be some with only cosmetic damage and maybe need new tires.

Interesting though we flew to Ohio for a quick visit and they were pretty much out of rental cars because I was a couple hours early. I had to use my blue chip card to get them to cough up a car for me. Think twice about a 3 door Hyundai.

Orlando is the gateway airport to Disney World, Universal Studios, the Gulf beaches and the Atlantic beaches. There’s even a fair amount of business travel. I’m not at all surprised that there are oodles of rental vehicles there.

The fire was at RSW in Fort Myers.

RSW is Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Meyers, Florida.
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

Willing to let it go unless one finds evidence of arson.

Realistically, large corporations like car rental companies do not own the cars; they lease them. And they often have interlocking corporate ownerships, so manufacturers may well own blocks of shares in rental companies, and vice versa. And the corporate owners of the cars are derivatives of other corporations. All in all, it’s just very, very unlikely that any of them somehow conspired to burn the cars. Maybe somebody did it for their own reasons, but I come back to my basic principle in situations:

Never blame a conspiracy when incompetence will explain it all.

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The economy here in Florida has been decimated by this virus scare thing. In our county we have not restricted residents from living pretty much a normal existence, but many businesses have been shut down by government officials who think they know best and that makes things a little more inconvenient.

I’ve been keeping an eye to Sweden where there is the virus thing going on, but without scaring everybody into making decisions based on fear, that may or may not help. Some of those fear driven decisions can destroy economies and livelihoods.

Sweden has had quite a few hospitalizations and deaths, but they are pushing through and should reach “herd immunity” rather quickly. People are free to drive their cars. Schools are open there, restaurants, too. People are free to travel and use public transportation. The vulnerable or worried people are free to stay home. They could peak sooner and then get beyond the whole mess sooner.

More information is coming out every day. Now, in the U.S. it seems that more people were exposed to the virus, even with physical distancing practices (I refuse to use the misnomer “social distancing”.

The problem the U.S. faces, now that the economy is in tatters, is how to open up, again, without starting the virus thing going.

I do believe that it’s possible the U.S. and local government folks have made a colossal mistake in the handling of this bug. Perhaps Sweden has it figured out. Time will tell.

Before anybody goes all “postal” on me, please note that I said that I believe it’s “possible” that we did this wrong. That implies that it’s also “possible” that we didn’t get it wrong. I am willing to keep an open mind.
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

Once again, you are clearly not taking things seriously, or–much more likely–you are in deep denial.
A “scare”?
So far, four of my friends/former co-workers have died as a result of what you blithely refer to as a “scare”.
In my town of ~60,000 people, as of yesterday, 56 people have died from COVID-19 over the past month.

Were they “scared” to death, or did they die as a result of an extremely serious threat to the public health?

Edited to add:
I finally got around to reading my Sunday newspaper. This edition, which covers approximately half of our state, had 11 pages of Obituaries. I haven’t seen that many pages of local Obituaries since the 9/11 attack. We actually surpassed the state’s 9/11 death toll over a week ago, and as of this week, our state’s COVID-19 death toll surpasses the state’s death toll for the Korean War and the Vietnam war–combined.

To attempt to minimize a pandemic as merely “a scare” is a disservice and an affront to the souls who died, as well as to all of the healthcare workers who are on the front lines in this fight.


Maybe if #45 took this seriously like every other world leader back in February, then we wouldn’t have had to take just drastic measures. At the beginning of March #45 was still calling it fake news.

Maybe if #45 didn’t dismantle the Obama Global Health infrastructure back in 2018 then we could have started taking steps sooner.

Maybe if #45 didn’t remove the embedded disease surveillance expert in China we could have had been warned even as far back as December.

Maybe if #45 didn’t eliminate director on the National Security Council, heading a team focused on “Global Health Security and Biodefense.” The job was created by Obama in 2014.

You should stay more informed.


CSA and every conservative I’ve ever know have the same attitude. If it doesn’t effect them personally then it doesn’t exist.

Problems with poverty doesn’t effect them, then it doesn’t exist.

Racism doesn’t effect them, then it doesn’t exist.

Global Warming doesn’t effect them personally, then it doesn’t exist.


I saw a spot on the Swedish Covid-19 response over the weekend. Sweden has significantly higher infections and associated deaths than any other Scandinavian country. It is reported this way to show that keeping away from each other does work, even when very long borders are shared.

Okay, here’s the deal as I see it.

First, people can accuse me of not taking this virus thing seriously, that 's fine. I do take it seriously.

The fear thrust upon people causes irrational behavior and leads to poor decisions.

As for Sweden, it’s much too early to pass judgment on this. Although they could have higher illness and death rates early on they could have far fewer of both later on. Their plan is to be basically done with this virus thing in a month. In the end they could have better overall results WITHOUT destroying their economy and ruining the lives and livelihoods of their citizens and their heal care system. The folks who don’t want to participate are physically distancing themselves from others. That’s fine.

It’s too early to tell if an approach like that of Sweden was better or worse. I’m open minded and hope that they made the right decisions. We can all learn from this.

Panic has never been a good strategy. Call me names, put words in my mouth, tell me what I’m feeling about myself and other people if you are so inclined to be judgmental, whatever floats the boat.

I will remain open minded, optimistic, and hopeful.

By the way, so far, all the dire consequences that were predicted to befall Florida because we’ve maintained much freedom, has yet to be realized.

Giving up freedom is not necessarily helpful in ending this bout of flu-like illness.

My wife just read to me an article about a hospital up north near my other location. They’ve laid off thousands of workers and eliminated hundreds of staff positions. What will be left of our health care system later? How many will be sick and die from a decimated health care system and other such “industries” wiped out by closing down our country? Think about that.

We played golf this morning with 3 other couples. Nobody was fearful or panic stricken. We physically distanced ourselves and it was no big deal. We had lots of fun and the golf course was in business making money and employing people. The golf course was actually quite busy, considering it is now off season (because of warmer weather).

One thing is for sure. I do not fear this virus. It will end it’s run. Fear has never been useful to me.
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

And here’s how I see it:

You call it panic, but is it really? I’m not panicked, my wife isn’t, I don’t know anyone that is, and I still deal with a lot of people daily through work, and all over the US. We’re fortunate in that we still have our jobs and can conduct them from a distance. I’m annoyed that I have to stay local and can’t do all the things I used to, but that’s not panic. If I didn’t have a job and enough money to last indefinitely, I might feel panic. The only people I see panicking now are the protesters demanding that we open everything up immediately. I understand their concern since many are the people suffering the most from the shut down. I’d rather wait until there are enough reliable test kits and places to test them to find and quarantine anyone infected and test those they were in contact with for the previous 2 weeks. We aren’t there yet. 80% of America agrees with me. Care to join us?