In what sounds like the automotive equivalent of The Walking Dead, a Tesla Model S caught fire three weeks after it was involved in an accident and sent to a junkyard. Firefighters had a difficult time putting out the blaze, and they ended up having to submerge the battery.
Posting on its official Twitter account, the Metro Fire Department of Sacramento explained that it sent crews to extinguish a vehicle fire in a wrecking yard. When they got there, firefighters found a burning Model S that had been wrecked in a non-fire-related accident about three weeks before. Why the electric sedan caught fire after sitting for nearly a month is unclear, but Metro Fire says the Tesla put up a fight.
"Crews knocked the fire down but it kept re-igniting/off-gassing in the battery compartment," it wrote on Twitter.
Crews arrived to our first Tesla fire. It was involved in an accident 3 wks ago, and was parked in a wrecking yard. Crews knocked the fire down but it kept reigniting/off-gassing in the battery compartment. Crews created a pit, placed the car inside, and filled the pit with water pic.twitter.com/Lz5b5770lO — Metro Fire of Sacramento (@metrofirepio) June 12, 2022
Firefighters found a creative way to control the blaze: they used dirt to create a pit, placed the burning car in it, and filled it with water. The fire was put out after "well over an hour of firefighting operations," and it doesn't look like there's much left of the Model S or its battery.
EV fires can be difficult to put out. Earlier in 2022, a massive cargo ship named Felicity Ace caught fire while crossing the Atlantic Ocean and burned for days before sinking. While the cause of the fire hasn't been determined, or at least published, the captain of a port on the Azorean island of Faial told Reuters that the lithium-ion batteries fitted to the electric vehicles that were on board were keeping the fire alive.