President Joe Biden spent Thanksgiving on the island of Nantucket, which is 30 miles off the coast of Massachusetts. I’ve been fortunate to have traveled there multiple times thanks to my brother having a summer house on the 14-mile long, three-and-a half-mile wide island.

Like most visitors, I’ve only visited Nantucket in the warm summer months, which makes Biden’s trip even more remarkable, though many locals, including my brother, prefer to be there in the fall since there isn’t that huge influx of visitors. It’s understandable since the population of the island is roughly 14,000 year round but in July and August, that number swells to over 80,000.

BTW: One of the videos that went viral from the President’s visit is when he photobombed a couple of adorable, screaming little kids as he walked by a restaurant.

However, the bigger story concerning Biden’s Nantucket trip is this one, posted on Instagram by the Nantucket Current yesterday. The post reads: “A large car fire involving multiple rental vehicles erupted early Monday morning at Nantucket Memorial Airport. There were no injuries, but five cars sustained significant damage and the blaze occurred just 40 feet from the airport’s jet fuel tanks.

The vehicles were among numerous cars that had been rented by Hertz to the Secret Service during President Biden’s stay on the island for the Thanksgiving holiday, two sources told the Current. They had been returned to Hertz less than 24 hours before the fire broke out.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, but one of the vehicles – a Ford Expedition- was under a battery recall by the manufacturer. While it had been scheduled for service under the recall, sources said, it had not been repaired with a new battery.

The five rental vehicles that sustained significant damage were facing each other at the origin of the fire and had their front ends totaled by the blaze. The following five cars were towed away:

  • Chevy Suburban
  • Ford Explorer
  • Infiniti QX80
  • Ford Expedition
  • Jeep Gladiator

Nantucket fire chief Michael Cranson praised the work of the Airport firefighters and his crews, along with the rental car companies, NPD and tow companies for a joint effort.

The airport issued the following statement after the fire was put out:

“At approximately 5:22 am Airport shift staff observed an active fire in the rental car overflow area through the Airport’s Closed Circuit Television System. Staff activated the Alert system and responded to the fire in Airport-3, where they were met by responding units from Nantucket Fire Department and Nantucket Police Department. Combined fire resources responded and contained the fire. Several vehicles were damaged. The Airport is currently coordinating with rental car agencies and agency partners to ensure scene safety. There is no longer an active fire at this time: the Airport is open, and aeronautical operations are not affected.”

H/T to @MikeElgan

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