AUSTIN (AP) — Austin officials say a warehouse fire wiped out one-fifth of the city’s pedicabs just weeks before the South by Southwest festival, one of the busiest times for bicycle rickshaw operators.
The Austin Fire Department reports that two companies, Metrocycle Pedicabs and Pedicab Adventures, lost up to 100 pedicabs in the warehouse fire early Tuesday. Fire officials tell the Austin American-Statesman that no one was injured and the blaze was ruled accidental.
They say the fire started from an electrical short circuit.
The companies declined to comment on the fire or the impact it could have on business leading up to the weeklong music, movie and tech festival that starts March 8.
The Austin Transportation Department plans to help affected operators by keeping their permits and inspecting replacement pedicabs for free.