A car fire that briefly shut down the Nantucket airport on Monday involved five vehicles that the Secret Service had rented for the Thanksgiving holiday visit of President Joe Biden and his family, the agency said Tuesday.
The fire took place Monday, after the Bidens left the island, where they traditionally spend Thanksgiving. An image shared by Nantucket Memorial Airport showed heavy damage to several SUVs, which were in the car rental overflow area.
The vehicles were rented from Hertz and returned after the Secret Service was done with them, agency spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told NBC News. Hertz is investigating the fire, and the Secret Service is not involved, and doesn't have any information on what might have started the fire.
Neither the president nor his family rode in the vehicles that caught fire Monday, Guglielmi said. Instead, they took Secret Service agents and staff around the island, and presented no issues while they were in use.
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The vehicles that caught fire, within a day of being returned, were among a number that were rented by the Secret Service, sources told the Nantucket Current. The news outlet was told that one of the vehicles was scheduled to be serviced for a safety recall over a faulty battery junction box.
Airport staff spotted the fire through surveillance cameras about 5:22 a.m., according to a statement from the airport. Local firefighters and police rushed to the scene, and the airport reopened -- apparently soon after the fire was detected, based on the timing of social media posts from the airport.