Bloomberg’s Scarlet Fu reports that Tesla Motors’ stock took a hit after one of its vehicles caught fire following a collision. The stock has since pared losses on news the car’s battery did not cause the fire.
A fire that destroyed a Tesla electric car near Seattle about 8:19 a.m. Tuesday is reported to have started in the vehicle’s battery pack. The fire posed challenges for firefighters assigned to extinguish the fire, who arrived within 3 minutes of the initial call on Route 167 in Kent, Washington. Firefighters remained on scene for 2 1/2 hours, but the precise “fire extinguished” time was not available.
Firefighters reported that they appeared to have fire under control, but the fire reignited when they broke a window while working on access to the car. Crews discovered that water seemed to intensify the fire, so they switched to a dry chemical extinguisher.
After dismantling the front end of the Tesla Model S and puncturing holes in the battery pack, firefighters used a circular saw to cut an access hole in the front section put water on the battery to finally extinguish the fire.
A liquid-cooled 85 kilowatt-hour battery in the Tesla Model S is mounted below the passenger compartment floor and uses lithium-ion chemistry similar to the batteries in laptop computers and mobile phones.
The driver of the Tesla Model S believes he struck metal debris on the roadway. He exited the Route 167 as the vehicle was disabled, and was stopped on Willis Street just west of the interchange of Route 167 and S Kent Des Moines Road.
Kent, Washington (population 92,411) is the sixth largest city in the state and third largest in the county. Suburban Kent is in the heart of the Seattle-Tacoma metroplex, and is located 19 miles south of Seattle and 19 miles northeast of Tacoma.
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Original video from AJ Gill showing a Tesla on fire in Kent, Washington.