‘Let them burn’: How Rhode Island firefighters are training to deal with electric vehicle fires

  • Source: WPRI-TV CBS 12 Providence
  • Published: 03/15/2023 11:25 PM

In June 2022, a Tesla that had been in a crash was being stored at an Exeter auction house for used cars when it started to burn. It was a Saturday and with no one at the business, Copart, the burning car went unnoticed until a motorist saw smoke when driving nearby. By the time firefighters got there, 23 vehicles were ablaze. A Target 12 town-by-town survey of fire departments and the state’s top fire official found the Tesla blaze at Copart was the only electric-vehicle fire firefighters have dealt with in Rhode Island to date. And the National Transportation Safety Board estimates vehicles powered primarily with a battery are 60% less likely to catch fire than a traditional internal combustible engine. But fire departments statewide are studying and preparing for how to handle these fires, which can trickier to put out than conventional car fires.


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