🔥 EV catches fire at a Hackensack apartment building

🔥 It took 7 hours to fully extinguish

🔥 EV fires are becoming more common and are extremely dangerous

It is a growing danger that is being faced with more frequency by fire departments across New Jersey: Electric Vehicle fires.

The latest was in Hackensack when fire crews were called to an apartment complex on Main Street at 1:30 a.m. last Friday.

They could see smoke coming out from a lower-level parking lot. A search revealed an Audi Q5 electric powered SUV was burning.

Fire fighters were able to quickly knock down the flames but had to remain on the scene for seven-hours to make sure the car's battery did not reignite.

Hackensack FD
Hackensack FD

"Additional precautions and measures were required due to the fact that it was an electric vehicle," the department said on Facebook, "Which do not extinguish easily as regular vehicles do."

One fire fighter was injured during the operation and was briefly hospitalized.

The problem is the EV battery

New Jersey State Fire Marshal Richard Mikutsky, who is also the director of the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety, says there is concern about EV fires “mostly because of the way these cars burn, the lithium battery packs, they burn extremely hot.”

Very hot fires that are very hard to put out

Mikutsky said there have been experiments done “where they have taken these cars and they have submerged them in giant dumpsters full of water for hours, pulled them out and they reignite.”

Lithium-ion batteries are made up of many cells, so not only do they burn at very high temperatures, the fire can last for several hours. They also pose other dangers, such as 400-volt electric shocks, toxic fumes and lithium burns to the skin and respiratory system.

He said the only right now to put out an EV fire is to continually pour water on it, sometimes for hours.

Google maps/Townsquare Media illustration
Google maps/Townsquare Media illustration

Not your normal car fire

“You can’t cool these normally like you would any other type of a fire. They retain their heat, and as they burn they continue to get even hotter.”

Mikutsky said a regular gasoline-powered car fire can be extinguished with 600 to 700 gallons of water, but in some situations, an EV car fire will require as much as 30,000 gallons of water.

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