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Fire destroys 300 cars

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More than $1 million worth of cars went up in smoke yesterday as an out-of-control fire ripped through a suburban car wreckers. Atlas Crash Repairs manager James Clyde said the Berrimah car yard resembled a war zone with exploding fuel tanks blowing cars six feet in the air.

More than 300 cars were gutted in less than an hour as the fire jumped from car to car in a blaze of combustible fury.

“It was like Beirut,” he said.

“There were cars popping six feet in the air.”

It is believed the destructive blaze started from a grass fire near Amy Johnson Drive and raced up a hill towards industrial businesses bordering the Stuart Highway in Berrimah.

“The first we knew of it there was flames coming over the back fence just after 1pm,” Mr Clyde said.

“At least 300 cars went up out of about 1000 in the yard — it just went berserk.

“The firies were here straight away and they managed to put it out in the corner but then the wind changed and it came back at us from another direction.”

An exhausted Mr Clyde then spent the next 45 minutes dodging shards of metal and glass flying through the air as he tried to save as many cars as he could and helped firefighters carry hoses through the yard to tackle the blaze.

“The cars were worth an average of $4000 for parts,” he said.

“It was pretty dangerous in there with fuel tanks exploding everywhere.”

Firefighters eventually brought the blaze under control mid-afternoon and managed to save the fire from catching on at a nearby metal scrapyard and other businesses.

Residents and guests of nearby Shady Glenn Caravan Park were put on alert but the fire was not able to jump the road and there was no need to evacuate.

No one was injured in the blaze and firies will conduct an investigation to determine if the fire was lit intentionally.

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