A 2016 – 2019 Tesla Model S P100D’s battery pack caught fire at the back of the Tesla service center in Marietta, Georgia
The firefighters had to prop the car on wood block in order to aim a hose at the battery
Few details are known about the incident, including if the car was charging
Late in the evening of September 26, a red Tesla Model S P100D caught fire behind the Marietta, Georgia Tesla service center.
Since fires implicating lithium batteries are very hard to put out, the fire department had to think unconventionally to come up with a solution.
The strategy they used was to lift the burning car and prop its right side on some wood blocks in order to be able to aim a water hose at the battery, which cooled it down and prevented it from reigniting, which is likely to happen with lithium batteries.
Indeed, lithium batteries are very difficult to extinguish, some fire departments have even suggested dealing with EV fires by using a truck with an open water tank and a crane to pick up burning vehicles and submerging them in water until they have stopped burning.
In this case, the fire clearly ignited in the battery and went up the left side of the car, which is completely burnt and destroyed. The right side shows scorch marks at the bottom of the doors.
The temperatures got so high around the vehicle that in some pictures, we can see the right front brake disk glowing red.
Very few details are known about the situation yet, including the state of the car before the incident. The pictures don’t seem to show prior damage and no charging cable can be seen, but the possibility that the car was plugged-in has not been dismissed. In addition, the car could have been at the service center specifically because of a problem that could increase risks of combustion.
Since the car was on Tesla’s property, the company surely knows what happened, but its usual policy towards the media means we probably won’t know much more about this case.