At least eight cars caught fire at a Disneyland parking structure Monday night, injuring park staffers, prompting some evacuations and causing nearly $180,000 in damage, authorities said.
During the blaze, seven Disney employees suffered minor injuries from smoke inhalation, four of whom were taken to the hospital, said Sgt. Daron Wyatt, a spokesman for the Anaheim Police Department.
No foul play is suspected, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
The fire was reported just before 4:40 p.m. on the second floor of the Mickey & Friends parking garage, a six-level structure off Disneyland Drive near the northwest corner of Disneyland Park, Wyatt said.
The parking structure has floors named after Disney characters and provides about 10,000 parking spaces.
By 5:35 p.m., the fire was extinguished. Four cars were destroyed and another four cars had major damage. A few other vehicles had minor damage, police said.
Photos shared on social media showed clouds of smoke billowing out of the parking structure as parkgoers crowded outside, waiting to return to their cars.
Police said most parkgoers began to return to their cars by 7 p.m., but those parked on the level where the fire broke out had to wait longer.
Helene Elliott, a sports columnist for the Los Angeles Times, was visiting Disneyland on Monday and her car was parked on the floor where the fire occurred.
She learned about the fire while waiting in line for the tram to the parking structure. The park halted the tram while firefighters battled the blaze. Park employees did not provide an explanation for why the tram service had stopped, she said.
“When I saw on Twitter [about the fire], I didn’t say anything out loud. I was afraid others were going to panic,” Elliott said.
By 7:50 p.m., those parked on the level where the fire occurred where allowed to retrieve their cars, she said.
The Mickey & Friends structure is a recognizable area for the millions of tourists visiting Disneyland and the adjacent California Adventure Park, the heart of Disney’s resort complex in Orange County.
At its opening in 2000, the massive garage was considered the largest parking structure in North America.
From the Los Angeles Times