NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Smoke and flames could be seen in the street as police investigated multiple car fires in Morningside Heights on Friday night.
Five vehicles were completely burned and charred, but there were no injuries, reports CBS2’s Valerie Castro.
The rain helped firefighters put out the blaze quickly but not before extensive damage was caused.
Police say the fire started around 9:40 p.m. on 133rd Street just west of Broadway.
Videos posted to social media show the orange ball of fire as each car was engulfed one by one as the flames spread up the block. Firefighters got the fire under control in less than an hour and no injuries were reported.
A man who watched the incident from a nearby apartment says he believes someone tossed a lit cigarette either in to one of the cars or in to a large pile of garbage that was on the corner.
“He seemed homeless, but I couldn’t be entirely sure,” said Bryan Gonzalez, a resident of Morningside Heights. “A cigarette went into the car or the trash, and just made this whole mess.
“Once I saw that first car on fire, my whole instinct was just to get down here and see what was going on in the street,” he said.
The fire department is investigating the exact cause of the fire.