Photo: Screen shot from Sacramento Metro Fire Department Facebook video
29 Aug 2022

Fire department ad hocs new extinguishing method for EV battery fire - with minimal water runoff


The Sacramento Metro Fire Department tried several times to extinguish the burning Tesla, but the battery compartment kept reigniting. Handling the situation required quick  "out of the box" thinking, and resulted in a new method. 

According to Fireengineering.com, the Sacramento Metro (CA) Fire Department recently took to social media to share their experience in battling the agency’s first Tesla fire.

In a video on their Facebook page, you can see a Tesla fully on fire upon arrival. The story then goes on to explain how the crew invented a way to drastically reduce the amount of water - and time - needed to extinguish the battery fire.

"The Tesla was moved on its side to gain access to the battery compartment underneath. Even with direct penetration, the vehicle would still reignite due to the residual heat", according the article. 

A traditional submerging of the vehicle would have required bringing a sea can on site and submerging  the entire vehicle in  water. However, what the crew instead did was to dig a small pit in the ground, filled it with water and placed the vehicle in it partly,  with primarily the battery compartment submerged in water. 

This action, allegedly, reduced the total amount of water needed to extinguish the fire. It also prevented re-ignition by reducing the overall temperature of the vehicle. Creating the pit also, the fire crew claims, reduced the amount of contaminated water run off from the incident site. 


Photo Credit: Screen shot from Sacramento Metro Fire Department Facebook video