WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Flames burned up five cars and damaged six others at the Salem Courthouse Apartments early Tuesday morning. Law enforcement got the call a little before one.
"A resident from out here called in because one of the dumpsters, they noticed, was on fire," said West Lafayette Police Sergeant Jason Philhower.
The fire melted away steering wheels and shattered windows. Steel belted tires were no match. Flames shot so high in the air, they singed the needles on nearby trees.
Dahlon Lyles said he jumped out of bed after he heard a "hissing" sound.
"The hissing really gets to me though because I have never heard that," said Lyles. "I get up, it is 1:00. I pull open my blinds and all I see is red."
The blaze sparked in the dumpster area and quickly spread to nearby cars. Even 15 or 20 feet away, the heat from the blaze melted the plastic on nearby vehicles.
Lyles' girlfriend's car was parked some 20 feet away. Now it is headed to the BMV, then the body shop.
"The whole back side was melted," said Lyles. "The metal was starting to peel off. Her license plate is melted completely. The paint has bubbled up, it looks bad."
For now Lyles will snap some pictures and tell some friends about the Valentine's Day he will not soon forget.
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