BAKERSFIELD — A brushfire along a highway spread into a CarMax auto dealership and destroyed or damaged 86 vehicles Monday.

Authorities received reports of several grass fires breaking out along Highway 99 in south Bakersfield, possibly caused by a big rig dragging a chain or some other object that created sparks and ignited the tinder-dry brush.

Estimated Loss for CarMax: $2.1 Million

The Bakersfield Fire Department said the blaze spread to a parking lot of the CarMax on Colony Street, which parallels the highway. The fire destroyed 26 cars and damaged 60. The Bakersfield Californian said the total loss for CarMax was estimated at $2.1 million.

Firefighters fought about 20 acres of brush and grass fires. They also wore protective masks while battling the car fires.

CarMax employees were evacuated and no injuries are reported.




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