VIDEO: New warnings from federal regulators have local fire departments rethinking their approach to electric car battery fires. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has trained about 250,000 first responders, but there are 1.2 million firefighters nationwide.
The lithium-ion batteries found in these cars burn differently than combustible engine fires. The fire chief for the Woodlands Fire Department, a suburb outside of Houston, called the batteries a "trick birthday candle." "When you add electricity to the mix, it adds a different dynamic," said T.J. Martin with the Parma Fire Department. "Training in the fire service has always been a challenge because no two fires are the same, and any fire department across the country will tell you the same thing."