Earlier this month, a Tesla parked at a wrecking yard in California went up in flames. The car had been in an accident and was about to be dismantled.
For firefighters in Sacramento, it was their first time handling an incident involving a Tesla. They were able to extinguish the flame once but the car's battery kept reigniting.
"The Tesla was moved on its side to gain access to the battery compartment underneath," the Sacramento fire department said in an Instagram post. "Even with direct penetration, the vehicle would still re-ignite due to the residual heat."
Crews arrived to our first Tesla fire. It was involved in an accident 3 wks ago, and was parked in a wrecking yard. Crews knocked the fire down but it kept reigniting/off-gassing in the battery compartment. Crews created a pit, placed the car inside, and filled the pit with water pic.twitter.com/Lz5b5770lO
— Metro Fire of Sacramento (@metrofirepio) June 12, 2022
The firefighting team was compelled to try a different method. Using a tractor, they dug up a pit, put the car in it and filled it with water.
Submerging the battery pack in water helped extinguish the blaze.
"The pit ultimately reduced the total amount of water needed, estimated at 4500 gallons, and limited the runoff of contaminated water," the fire department added. "The vehicle was fully extinguished, and no injuries were reported."
Firefighters were unclear about what led to the blaze.
With more EV vehicle owners keeping battery chargers in their garages, the fire department is preparing to handle an increasing number of incidents, the Washington Post reported“This is a whole new animal for the fire service,” Parker Wilbourn, a spokesperson for the Sacramento department told the newspaper. “We’re still trying to wrap our heads around the (electric vehicle) fires.”