White Tesla Model S bursts into flames after sitting in California wrecking yard for THREE weeks: Firefighters had to submerge vehicle in a pit to extinguish its battery
- A white Tesla Model S burst into flames at a Rancho Cordova, California wrecking yard, weeks after it had initially been wrecked
- Firefighters used 4,500 gallons and a pit they dug to finally extinguish the vehicle
- The fire follows a series of other Tesla fires that may be blamed on the car's battery
The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District said that firefighters arrived at the wrecking yard to find the Tesla fully engulfed in flames. Each time the firefighters attempted to extinguish the flames, the Tesla's battery would reignite the fire.
The fire department posted an Instagram video of the ordeal, saying that even when firefighters moved the Tesla onto it's side to spray the battery directly, the car would burst into flames again 'due to the residual heat.'
Eventually, the firefighters dug a pit near the Tesla and moved the burning car into it and then filled the pit with water, 'effectively submerging the battery compartment.'
The technique worked, and the fire department was able to put out the fire with no injuries and 4,500 gallons of water used - about the same amount of water used for a building fire.
The Tesla Model S, which had been in a collision, spontaneously erupted in flames due to an issue with the battery
Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters dug a pit and used 4,500 gallons of water to put out the Tesla's flames
Fires generated from electric vehicles can be especially hazardous, as they generate over 100 organic chemicals including some potentially fatal toxic gasses like carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide.
Capt. Parker Wilbourn, a spokesperson for the fire department, told the Washington Post that the Tesla fire burned hotter than 3,000 degrees.
Tesla batteries may be at a higher risk of combusting due to the lithium-ion technology they use, which is a relatively new introduction to the auto industry. Lithium-ion batteries charge faster but can rise to extraordinary temperatures if damaged.
An increase in electric vehicle use over recent years has brought to light some of the risks associated with them.
In December 2020, a San Ramon, California house was burned to the ground after the homeowner's two Teslas caught fire in the middle of the night. An investigation by the San Ramon Valley Firefighters narrowed down the cause of the fire to either the car's electrical system or the battery.
In April, a Tesla in Nashua, New Hampshire that had hit a tree and caught fire was transferred to a tow company lot after the initial fire was extinguished, but the vehicle caught fire again due to the battery combusting.
Nashua Fire Rescue workers were forced to remove the battery from the burning car and seal it inside a Hazmat container to prevent it combusting further.
'These electric vehicle fires pose some unique challenges, and fire crews were on scene for an extended time to complete extinguishment,' Nashua Fire said in a social media post.