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Tailgaters – Do Not Dump Barbecue Coals Out

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Some football fans got an unexpected surprise after the Charger game this weekend. A fire damaged 10 cars in the parking lot at Qualcomm Stadium during the game, destroying six and charring four others. Officials told NBC 7/39 that fire crews said they had a hard time reaching the site of the fire because of heavy traffic around the stadium.

Firefighters think hot coals left behind by tailgaters caused the fire.

Shortly after kickoff of the exhibition game Sunday between the Chargers and the St. Louis Rams, the hot coals of a barbecue left in front of a Ford Mustang ignited cars that had been parked together.

A column of black smoke rose into the air, and the smell of burning tires wafted over the grandstands. Some cars were left sitting on their rims. Shattered glass lined rows between the burned vehicles. Fenders were melted away.

Police Sgt. Ray Mattuck said there was no doubt the fire had been started by a barbecue.

By halftime, arson investigators were searching through the ashes. The investigators were expected to determine if charges would be filed, firefighters said.

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