NANUET, NY – Firefighters in Nanuet said a ruptured Tesla battery caused significant problems trying to control an otherwise ordinary car fire on the Palisades Interstate Parkway.
According to the department, it took thousands of gallons of water on multiple tankers to finally get the Tesla’s fire under control.
“On March 12th at 11:00 AM the Nanuet Fire Department was alerted to respond to a vehicle fire on the Palisades Interstate Parkway Northbound just South of Exit 10; this incident would close the roadway for an extended period of time causing major traffic delays,” the Nanuet Fire Department said in a statement.
According to the department, the Tesla’s battery was in “thermal runaway”.
“In an event of a thermal runaway, a cell will tend to short. Keep in mind that the battery pack of a Tesla involves a set of cells aligned with each other to power the vehicle. Therefore, one cell shortage can cause a chain reaction and increase the temperatures of the cells around it, causing a drastic thermal runaway, and slowly leading to a fire,” according to Optiwatt. “In a small battery, this tends to happen almost instantaneously because the battery generally consists of only one cell.”
For this fire, the department had to call in mutual aid support to two neighboring fire departments to contain the blaze.
“The first arriving Unit 8-1500 confirmed that a Tesla Model S was in fact fully engulfed in flames. Tesla’s sole source of power is the 375 Volt Lithium Ion Battery, which spans the entire length and width of the floor of the car,” the Nanuet Fire Department said in a statement. “This battery was ruptured and was in thermal runaway, making it extremely difficult to be extinguished. Units from neighboring New City and Spring Valley FD were requested for additional manpower and water resources.”
After multiple water tanks carrying 1,000 gallons each were deluged; the vehicle was deemed “under control” roughly two hours later. This incident is under investigation by the New York State Police.