Video of fire at a parking lot in Australia linked to protests in France

By: Toibah Kirmani
July 3 2023

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Video of fire at a parking lot in Australia linked to protests in France


The Verdict False

The video does not show arson by French protestors. It was taken when several cars meant to be auctioned were destroyed in a blaze in Australia.

Claim ID d737c90b


Violent protests erupted in France over the death of 17-year-old Nahel M, who was shot by the police at a traffic spot Tuesday last week. While the latest news reports say that the protestors appear to be calming down now, visuals of demonstrations, violent clashes, or unrest from France are getting much social media attention. However, many images and videos are not related to France.  

One such video showed several parked cars engulfed in flames and was shared with the claim on Twitter that it captures arson by French protesters. A tweet, uploaded by the Turkey-based news aggregator Haber Report, sharing the 22-second clip had been viewed over 164,000 times at the time of publishing. Archive versions can be accessed here and here.

In Fact

While a reverse image search yielded no definitive results, a comment on one tweet sharing the viral video suggested that it is not from France but from Perth, Australia, where a giant blaze had destroyed 60 vehicles at the Pickles auction yard. 

We then came across an article published by Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC News) on April 28. The article included a video that showed similar visuals as the viral clip. The video was captioned, "Cars destroyed in a major blaze at Perth car yard." The news article was also embedded with a Twitter post by user Jacey Knowles. The tweet, also posted on April 28, contained several videos of the fire at the Perth car yard. One of the videos appears to be a slightly zoomed-out version of the viral clip. The caption of the tweet read, "Fire at Pickles Auction this evening. Was a wild sight! Amazing effort to firefighters tackling the beast to get the out of control under control."

The Guardian also published a report on the incident on April 29 with the same details and also included Knowles' tweets sharing visuals of the fire. 

The video of the incident, albeit from different angles, was also shared on Sky News Australia's YouTube channel on April 29. The video was titled, "Fire at Perth auction yard destroys dozens of cars." The video description mentioned similar details about the incident as ABC News and The Guardian. The description added that firefighters took nearly three hours to douse the flames. 

According to the news reports, a fire broke in the evening at a Pickles auction yard in Bibra Lake, Perth. As stated on their website, Pickles is a privately-owned company based in Australia that specializes in remarketing across various industries, including cars, trucks, and salvage. The fire destroyed 60 vehicles, and authorities conducted investigations to determine the cause of the fire. No injuries were reported during the incident.

The Verdict

The video does not show cars set ablaze during the protests in France. The video was taken when several cars at an auction yard were engulfed in flames in Perth, Australia. Hence, the claim that the video shows arson in France is false. 

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