Five vehicles rented and returned by Secret Service catch fire at Nantucket airport

President Joe Biden and his family spent the Thanksgiving holiday on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts, which necessarily required dozens of Secret Service agents to also spend the holiday weekend on the island.

Less than a day after everybody flew back to Washington D.C., however, a mysterious fire erupted at the Nantucket airport that partially consumed five vehicles that had been rented and returned by the Secret Service, Fox News reported.

Vehicle fire at airport

The local Nantucket Current first reported on the fire that started early Monday morning in a rental car overflow lot at the island’s airport that caused significant damage to five vehicles that had been rented from Hertz by the Secret Service and had just been returned on Sunday.

Those vehicles included a Chevrolet Suburban, Ford Expedition, Ford Explorer, Infiniti QX80, and Jeep Gladiator, all of which had been parked closely together as a group in the overflow lot. They were reportedly just a few of several vehicles the Secret Service had rented for the weekend.

An investigation is ongoing, but Nantucket Fire Chief Michael Cranson told the outlet that the blaze does not appear to be suspicious in nature.

Recalled battery junction box suspected as likely cause of fire

In fact, it was noted that the Ford Expedition was under a manufacturer recall for a faulty battery junction box issue that had reportedly caused fires, but the vehicle had not yet been taken in to be repaired at a dealership.

It seems likely that once the investigation has concluded, it will have been determined that the fire began in the recalled Expedition and then spread to the other vehicles that all had their front ends parked close together.

According to a statement from the airport, the fire was first noticed around 5:22 a.m. and the airport’s firefighting team immediately responded before being joined by Nantucket firefighters, and the blaze was completely extinguished within less than an hour.

The rapid response may have been critical in preventing the fire from spreading to other vehicles in the lot, or worse, the airport’s farm of jet fuel tanks located just 40 yards away from the overflow lot.

Vehicles used only by agents, not the president or his family

According to local Boston NBC affiliate WBTS, Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed that the agency had rented and returned the five particular vehicles, as well as others, for agents and employees — but not the president or his family — to use for traveling around the island during the holiday weekend.

He further asserted that there had been no reported issues with any of the vehicles while they were in use, that the Secret Service had nothing to do with the fire that occurred later, and that the incident was being investigated by Hertz and relevant local authorities.

It will be interesting to see, once the investigation has concluded, if the initial suspicions of a possible recalled battery sparking the fire are confirmed or if more scrutiny of the incident is warranted.

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