A Sacramento fire crew blasted a Tesla Model S with 6,000 gallons (22,700 liters) of water to extinguish a fire after the EV caught alight on a freeway.
The city’s Metro Fire Department said the car’s owner had noticed nothing unusual in the car’s behavior or performance prior to the fire starting on Highway 50 at 4.p.m. on January 29.
Fortunately no one was hurt in the accident, but fire crews had a major job on their hands getting the fire in the battery compartment under control. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) wad forced to close two lanes of the road, but recorded in its log 19 minutes after the incident started that putting the flames out was proving tricky. “Fire is not going out/going to try to flood (vehicle),” CHP reported, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Two fire trucks, a water tender and a ladder truck attended the scene, and firemen eventually extinguished the fire by using jacks to lift the car and access the battery pack from underneath.
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“The vehicle battery compartment spontaneously caught fire while it was traveling freeway speeds on EB Hwy 50,” the fire department tweeted. “The fire was extinguished with approx 6,000 gallons of water, as the battery cells continued to combust. Thankfully no injuries were reported.”
An average fire in a gasoline-powered car can take 500-1,000 gallons (1,890-3,785 liters) to put out according to comments made by an Austin, Texas, fire chief to The Independent, and Metro Fire of Sacramento explained in a reply to another tweet that 6,000 gallons is more than it usually needs to extinguish a house fire.
Though electric cars are less likely to catch fire than traditional combustion-powered vehicles, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about a Tesla catching alight and needing thousands of gallons of water to put out the fire. In November last year we wrote about another Model S that caught fire in Pennsylvania, though in that case the fire started after the car hit a piece of debris in the road.
The vehicle battery compartment spontaneously caught fire while it was traveling freeway speeds on EB Hwy 50. The fire was extinguished with approx 6,000 gallons of water, as the battery cells continued to combust. Thankfully no injuries were reported. pic.twitter.com/PRmlWzQdXS
— Metro Fire of Sacramento (@metrofirepio) January 29, 2023