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Cleveland apartment parking lot fire totals 11 vehicles, investigators search for a cause

Posted at 9:22 PM, Jul 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-23 23:11:08-04

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland fire investigators are searching for a cause in a July 23 fire at the Hilltop Estates Apartments parking lot that totaled 11 vehicles.

Residents told News 5 they were awakened by the sound of explosions and car alarms at 2:45 a.m.

The incident caught on video and recorded by a resident who used their cellphone at the scene.

Hilltop tenant Lisa Bobbitt said she saw the flames quickly spread from vehicle to vehicle.

“All the cars were exploding, fire was everywhere, it was a disaster, it was like a war zone,” Bobbitt said.

“I immediately dove to the floor, because I heard boom, boom, boom. I heard all car alarms going off.”

Reshawn Brinkley showed News 5 the charred remains of the Chevrolet van he uses to transport his children

Brinkley was visiting when the fire got started and said he and other residents are concerned about safety at the gated apartment complex.

“My van is totaled, I don’t have a steering wheel, no seats, no nothing," Brinkley said.

“No this isn’t no accident, this is arson, somebody around here is send people’s car on fire.”

There were no injuries in the fire.

News 5 contacted Hilltop Estates Apartments management, but it would not issue a statement.

Management said they are concerned about the fire and are working with fire investigators in the search for a cause.

Still, Brinkley believes the complex could do more to improve security.

"They don’t have no cameras, they don’t have nothing out there," Brinkley said.

"Somebody has to do something about this."

"You all want this rent money, but you can’t secure our parking lot.”