A Tesla Model S caught fire on a highway in Sacramento last week, leading a driver to pull over to the side of the road before it ignited in a more serious inferno. Now, thanks to a video shared by the local fire department, we have a look at exactly how a fire that large can ignite.
Explosive footage of the EV fire…🔥 pic.twitter.com/oIugrGi5sj
— Metro Fire of Sacramento (@metrofirepio) February 5, 2023
The video shows the moment the fire went from underneath the car to engulfing the entire cabin in flames. At first, a small fire can be seen underneath the car. Smoke starts to rise from the right-hand side of the car, then an explosive flame spits out and engulfs that side of the cabin in flame and pillars of thick smoke.
The fire department says the car "spontaneously caught fire" while traveling at freeway speeds, resulting in an inferno that required 6,000 gallons of water to extinguish. The fire was fought by jacking up the car and cooling the battery from underneath with a significant volume of water, which the department notes is part of Tesla's own suggested response for a Model S battery fire.
The driver and a passenger recounted their escape from the car to local news earlier this week. Driver Sunit Mayall says she pulled over to the side of the road after hearing popping sounds, realized that the car was starting to catch fire, and ran away with the other passenger in the car, her brother. He says that the pair have since tried to reach out to Tesla, but have yet to hear back on how the fire happened.
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