Screams split the night as a one-month-old electric vehicle (EV) exploded in a family’s driveway setting their home on fire after the battery allegedly malfunctioned.
UK Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service rushed to Cooks Acre, in Bromborough, Wirral after the explosion took place. It occurred at approximately 10 p.m. on Saturday. Calls came in reporting that a car was on fire. When the firefighters got there, it only took ten minutes to put out the blaze, according to the Daily Mail.
The front of the two-story home on a quiet residential street was blackened by the fire and the garage was set ablaze as well by the explosion, according to the Liverpool Echo.
One man who spoke with the owners of the car told the media outlet that they thought the cause of the fire was a “malfunctioning electric car battery.” The official cause of the explosion and fire has not been confirmed by the fire service yet.
(Video Credit: Daily Mail)
“I was in bed and heard this popping noise. It sounded like fireworks going off. I went outside with my mum and there were bright lights with a car up in flames over the road,” the man recounted to the Liverpool Echo.
“The owner was in the house when it happened but got out. She told me this morning that the car was only a month old with a thousand miles on the clock and the car battery malfunctioned,” he added.
Others who witnessed the shocking explosion also recalled what happened.
“I heard tires popping and people came out to see what was going on. Someone started screaming and people rushed out to help,” one woman said, according to the Liverpool Echo.
When an EV catches fire, the contaminates that are released into the atmosphere are off the scale compared to the exhaust fumes of a combustion powered car. pic.twitter.com/LIc5Y8wTd7
— Sim_On (@simondnoble) September 22, 2023
“I saw it happen and it looked like the fire was coming from where they charge the car. The whole thing was up in flames by the end. It was so scary and my little girl was screaming because she thought something had happened to our house,” the woman continued.
A spokesperson for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said in a statement, “Crews were alerted at 9:51 p.m. and were on scene at 9:57 p.m. Three fire engines attended. On arrival, crews found a two-storey detached house with the garage well alight. A car on the drive was also well alight.”
“Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property under rapid deployment to fight the fire. The fire was extinguished by 10:10 p.m. MFRS carried out home fire safety checks on the properties on either side of the property and left the scene at 12:21 a.m.,” they concluded.
— BPR (@BIZPACReview) September 18, 2023
Electric Vehicles have had challenges since their introduction into society. A small percentage catch fire due to various reasons, usually, the battery, and the fires are reportedly difficult to put out for responders.
“When a lithium-ion battery of an electric car catches fire, putting it out with water or foam – hasn’t been working for fire crews,” ABC15 explained. “Constant flames stretch resources thin trying to get one fire under control. Then exposure to anyone near the fire is a major health risk.”
Two new tools are being used in Arizona to combat such fires.
One is called the “Turtle Fire System.”
Today, Asw McCarthy Patrick & I were given a demonstration of a life saving tool that extinguishes electric vehicle fires within minutes.Their company, Turtle Fire System, is an amazing piece of equipment. Special thanks to Salem Co Fire Marshal & Glassboro Fire Dept. @NJGOP #EV pic.twitter.com/1p7ioxPAzs
— Senator Edward Durr (@EdTheTruckerNJ) January 25, 2023
“It works like a yard sprinkler but with 500 gallons shooting out every minute. Emergency crews put it under the burning car to try and cool the car down,” ABC15 reported.
A high-temperature silicone fiberglass blanket is then used to cover the car and smother the fire.
Bricen Miller, who is with the blanket company called, Li-Fire out of Florida, pointed out, “Contrary to people’s opinion, the blanket doesn’t put out the fire, there is no known way to put out a thermal battery fire so you’re really containing exposure.”
The blanket ranges from $1,800 and up in price but can be used more than once depending on how contaminated it gets after a fire.
Another tool pierces the car and floods it with water.
“This keeps our firefighters out of the exposure, that’s huge for us, we’re always looking for a tool to add to the toolbox,” Cpt. Folio remarked according to ABC15.
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