ROME, June 1 (Xinhua) -- A vast fire erupted Thursday afternoon at a car demolition lot in Rome, sending a thick black cloud of smoke billowing over the walls of Vatican City where Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church lives.
The blaze in the Battistini district near the Vatican destroyed over 50 cars, causing their fuel tanks to explode and sparking dozens of calls to emergency services from local residents, Italian news agency Ansa reported.
Emergency services posted a video on Twitter showing cars stacked for demolition being devoured by the raging flames.
"Via Battistini fire under control, six firefighter teams on site," firefighters tweeted two hours after the first tweet with the images of the blaze.
"Three residential buildings evacuated as a precaution."
Police shut down several streets in the immediate area, and Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi was reportedly on her way to the location of the blaze. Enditem