The driver of this Tesla SUV was killed when the vehicle struck a pole and burst into flames on the Lougheed Highwat in Coquitlam on March 18, 2019. [PNG Merlin Archive]
Shane MacKichan photo / PNG
A Tesla blaze in Coquitlam took no extra effort to douse, according to fire and rescue chief Jim Ogloff.Ogloff was responding to questions in light of concerns raised around putting out Tesla battery fires.“There were no issues with the incident itself in terms of extinguishment,” said Ogloff, referring to the early-morning blaze on the Lougheed Highway on March 18. The sole occupant of the vehicle died at the scene.“It was a single vehicle accident, the car hit a lamppost at what we were advised was likely at a very high speed,” Ogloff said. “The impact of the car was such that it split the casing of the battery. In terms of extinguishment they put the car fire out, but the battery cells retained heat so it was puffing smoke and continued to puff smoke.”
The driver of this Tesla SUV was killed when the vehicle struck a pole and burst into flames on the Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam on March 18, 2019.
Coquitlam RCMP handout /
The driver of this Tesla SUV was killed when the vehicle struck a pole and burst into flames on the Lougheed Highwat in Coquitlam on March 18, 2019.
Shane MacKichan photo /
As a result, firefighters stayed longer at the scene than they would have had it been a regular gasoline-powered vehicle fire.Ogloff said firefighters were guided by an onboard computer program that tells first responders any safety features and any cautionary identifiers for all types of motor vehicles, including electric vehicles.“They have some tools in the tool box before they approach a vehicle fire,” he said, adding that in this case firefighters used foam to douse the blaze.According to a Bloomberg report published last month, firefighters in the U.S. have struggled putting out Tesla fires once the lithium-ion battery packs catch fire.“With more than 760,000 electric and plug-in vehicles on the road in the U.S., according to the International Energy Agency, emergency responders with little past exposure to these cars are becoming more likely to encounter one at a crash scene,” the report states. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is already investigating multiple incidents involving EV battery fires and problems encountered by emergency personnel.”As a result, emergency responders are being given special battery-related fire training. According to the report, one of the first things responders learn is never to cut orange cable which carries the high-voltage wires needed in electric vehicles.Related
Tesla, which announced a $702-million loss for the last quarter due to a decline in sales, is currently dealing with three incidents in which it appears the car’s energy-dense battery caught fire spontaneously.They include an April 16 report on a Tesla car fire near Pittsburgh that took place in a garage where the car had been taken after earlier catching fire.Also, last December, American actress Mary McCormack posted on social media video of her husband’s Tesla on fire in L.A. Tesla responded to that video stating: “This is an extraordinarily unusual occurrence and we are investigating the incident to find out what happened.”It went on to say the battery casing was designed so that the cabin is protected in the event of a fire.Most recently, Tesla is investigating video footage released of a parked Tesla in China apparently catching fire email@example.com/davidcarrigg