FREMONT (CBS SF) — Dozens of cars were destroyed when a fire raced through a used car lot in Fremont.

It happened just after 4:15 p.m. at Insurance Auto Auctions. Fire officials said one lone security guard was on duty and it took him a while to realize what was happening.

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The lot was on Stevenson Boulevard in an industrial area of Fremont.

According to fire officials, one lone car caught fire and it spread to the surrounding vehicles.

Thick, black smoke could be seen across the Bay Area for miles. High winds and warm temperatures caused it to spread quickly.

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Firefighters had to struggle to get inside because of an electric fence.

The lot sells mostly used cars that are sold at auction and motorcycles.

Crews managed to contain the flames pretty quickly.

The fire destroyed at least 30 to 40 cars.

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Fortunately, no one was hurt.