Tesla sitting in California wrecking yard for three weeks spontaneously bursts into flames
White Tesla Model S goes up in flames after THREE weeks at the scrapyard in California: firefighters had to submerge the vehicle in a well to extinguish the battery
- A white Tesla Model S burst into flames at a scrap yard in Rancho Cordova, California, weeks after it was initially vandalized
- Firefighters used 4,500 gallons and a well they dug to eventually extinguish the vehicle
- The fire follows a series of other Tesla fires that may have been due to the car’s battery
A white Tesla Model S spontaneously caught fire at a scrapyard in Rancho Cordova, California, after the car sat there for weeks following a collision.
The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District said firefighters came to the demolition to set the Tesla completely engulfed in flames. Every time the firefighters tried to put out the flames, the Tesla’s battery would rekindle the fire.
The fire service posted an Instagram video of the ordeal, saying that even if firefighters moved the Tesla on its side to directly spray the battery, the car would catch fire again “because of the residual heat.”
Ultimately, the firefighters dug a pit near the Tesla and moved the burning car into it, then filled the pit with water, “effectively submerging the battery compartment.”
The technique worked and firefighters were able to put out the fire without injury, using 4,500 gallons of water — about the same amount of water used for a building fire.
The Tesla Model S, which had been in a collision, spontaneously burst into flames due to a battery problem
Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters dug a pit and used 4,500 gallons of water to extinguish the Tesla’s flames
Fires generated by electric vehicles can be particularly dangerous, as they generate more than 100 organic chemicals, including some potentially deadly toxic gases such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide.
Captain Parker Wilbourn, a spokesman for the fire service, told the Washington Post that the Tesla fire was burning hotter than 3,000 degrees.
Tesla batteries may be at a higher risk of combustion 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 the use of electric vehicles in recent years has highlighted some of the associated risks.
In December 2020, a home in San Ramon, California 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 Fire Department traced the cause of the fire to either the car’s electrical system or the battery.
In April, a Tesla in Nashua, New Hampshire, which had struck a tree and caught fire, was transferred to a towage site after the initial fire was extinguished, but the vehicle caught fire again as the battery burned.
Nashua Fire Rescue workers were forced to remove the battery from the burning car and seal it in a Hazmat container to prevent further combustion.
“These fires in electric vehicles present some unique challenges, and firefighters were on site for a long time to complete the extinguishing,” Nashua Fire said in a social media post.