The Miami Dolphins earned a 20-7 victory over the New England Patriots during their season opener on Sunday afternoon, but some Miami fans still lost. Nearly a dozen vehicles caught on fire outside Hard Rock Stadium in the north east parking lot during the game.
The thick cloud of black smoke could be seen from inside the stadium in the first half of the game. The owner of a Mercedes S63 that was deemed a total loss told NBC 6 South Florida that police informed him that the cause of the fire was an unattended charcoal grill from a tailgate catching fire. Each car that caught on fire cause the flames to spread even more.
"Around 1 pm, a vehicle fire began in a remote Hard Rock Stadium parking lot. Several vehicles were affected," read a statement by a Hard Rock Stadium spokesperson."Miami Dade Police Department and Miami Dade Fire Rescue were on the scene. The fire has been extinguished and is being investigated by Fire Rescue. No injuries have been reported and there is no current threat to the stadium."
According to a few local news reports, 11 vehicles caught fire and it took more than 10 Miami-Dade Fire units 30 minutes to put out the flames. Fortunately, the incident began after most fans were already inside the stadium for kickoff and nobody was hurt.
Those who were close to the incident were able to hear the sounds of the tires popping.
"We're standing here, we're all having a great time, and we see a lot of big, black smoke over there," a Dolphins fan told WSVN. "We're like, 'Oh, what's going on? We start looking and, 'Oh, it's a fire. Next thing we know, we hear a few pops; it's tires going off."
Per WSVN, authorities have ruled the fire as accidental.