CARLSBAD, Calif. — A residential fire broke out early Tuesday in Carlsbad that fire officials suspect was caused by the lithium ion battery in an electric scooter.
Around 5:50 a.m., fire officials were alerted of the blaze in a house at 3040 Levante St., close by to Levante Elementary School.
Carlsbad fire personnel were able to contain the fire in the garage of the house, but the family has been temporarily displaced while the home is being rehabilitated.
Residents of the house and responding firefighters were unharmed.
A SigAlert was issued for the area around Levante Street, but has since been lifted.
Carlsbad fire officials have not completed their full investigation of the incident, however, they believe an electronic scooter battery charging in the garage triggered the fire.
“What we saw here in this garage are things that we’ve been seeing in other places in the city and nationally,” Carlsbad Assistant Fire Marshall Darcy Davidson told FOX 5. “There were multiple batteries in the garage that were used for different types of devices. It’s possible one of those started this fire.”
A spokesperson for the department said that this would be the second fire in the last week to begin because of these kinds of batteries in Carlsbad, if it is confirmed as the origin. The last fire was due to a lithium ion battery in an e-bike.
An e-bike battery was also to blame for the five-alarm fire in a Bronx building earlier this week that injured seven and required almost 200 firefighters to quell, according to reporting from CNN.
“In all of these fires, these lithium-ion fires, it is not a slow burn, there’s not a small amount of fire, it literally explodes,” New York City Fire Department Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said to reporters Sunday, following the Bronx fire. “It’s a tremendous volume of fire as soon as it happens, and it’s very difficult to extinguish and so it’s particularly dangerous.”
A similar incident occurred in downtown San Diego last November: a three-alarm fire erupted at a warehouse in East Village after some lithium ion batteries caught fire, injuring one and forcing dozens of residents to evacuate the area.
“We have been seeing a significant uptick in fires caused by charging lithium ion batteries. Those batteries will kind of go into a thermal runaway and overheat,” Carlsbad Division Chief Nate Pearson told FOX 5. “What we’re encouraging people to do is to — like this case — charge their batteries out of the home, in the garage if possible or even outside if you can do so safely.”