Hazmat Team Responds to Battery Fire at Norwell Tesla Dealership
NORWELL — A car battery malfunction at the Tesla dealership in Norwell on Friday sparked a Hazmat response.
The The Massachusetts Association of Hazmat Technicians tweeted around 11:30 a.m. Friday morning officials were responding to a lithium-ion battery fire.
Norwell Fire responded to a call from the Norwell Tesla dealership around 10:30 a.m. They were advised it was a fire in a car inside the dealership’s service garage.
The damage was limited to the car which was being serviced with possible heat damage to the car next to it. No injuries were reported.
The Norwell Fire consulted with Tesla engineers in Pennsylvania on how to safely move the vehicle. Philadelphia engineers were dispatched to safely dismantle the battery system.
Firefighters and Tesla employees pushed the vehicle into the parking lot, where the battery was monitored for temperature fluctuations.
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A state hazardous materials team determined from testing that there was no danger to public health. The state Department of Environmental Protection and other agencies were at the scene.
They will require Tesla to have a licensed site professional perform more testing to ensure that the water runoff used to extinguish the fire does not pose an environmental hazard. Most of the runoff was contained in a large reservoir on site.
Tesla fires have been reported across the country this summer. Crews in California reported in June that it took 4,500 gallons of water to put out a fire that kept reigniting.
According to a Facebook post from the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, the Tesla had been sitting in a demolition yard for three weeks waiting to be dismantled after an accident when it caught fire.
Teslas have lithium-ion batteries that can pose fire and explosion hazards when damaged, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
A driver in Canada reported in March that his brand new Tesla Model Y burst into flames after being turned off, and The New York Times in June reported that electric vehicles made by Tesla and other manufacturers sometimes caught fire if their batteries had been damaged in accidents. High voltage fires generate intense heat and can be difficult to extinguish.
Information from USA Today was used in this report.
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