Lithium batteries catch fire in South Burlington, Putney

By Guy Page

A battery-powered electric car caught fire on I-91 in Putney Saturday, August 27 and a shipping container of electric batteries caught fire at the Burlington International Airport Friday, Aug. 26.

Firefighters warned that fires emitting toxic gases will become more common as EVs become more popular.

Putney Firefighters Association

Putney firefighters Saturday extinguish a battery fire on a Chevy Volt EV by lifting up the rear of the car and hosing down the battery beneath the passenger compartment.

On Saturday, “members responded to Interstate 91 for a reported electric vehicle on fire,” the Putney Firefighters Association reported Sunday on its public Facebook page. “We arrived on scene to find an older model Chevy Volt with a light smoke condition pushing from the battery pack under the vehicle.”

Members quickly “pulled an 1 3/4 attack line” to the car and began cooling the failing battery before it could degrade any further.

Mutual aid Tankers from Westerminster were requested and in total over 14,000 gallons of water was used to keep the batteries cool. “A huge thank you to our friends at Rods Towing for lifting the vehicle to give us better access to the battery,” the local firefighters said.

Lithium-Ion battery fires are becoming more and more common as more electric vehicles make their way onto our roads, Putney firefighters said. “The gases they put off when on fire are extremely toxic, if your vehicle or any of your electronics that use Lithium-ion batteries catches on fire move away from it immediately and call 911,” the PFA said.

Friday, a shipping container filled with lithium-ion batteries for the Beta Technologies plant located at the airport caught fire, Seven Days reports. The fire — unlike most fires — was not initially reported to the media, 7D said. The news came out following media requests for information.

The fire was controlled within a half-hour, thus preventing an uncontrollable “thermal runaway” that can occur when batteries burn, 7D reported.

Beta Technologies manufactures electric battery-powered airplanes.

Guy Page is publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle. Reprinted with permission.

Image courtesy of Putney Firefighters Association

7 thoughts on “Lithium batteries catch fire in South Burlington, Putney

  1. This is occurring because our liberal politicians are forcing the virtue-signaling 1992 UN Climate Change Conference agenda down our throats. Think UN Agenda 21/30. This was shoved down our throats thanks to Al Gore in 1992. It is actually a treaty. I don’t think the U.S. Senate ever ratified it, but the politicians who are in the UN and Communist China’s pockets are carrying it out anyway. They have been for years. Killing off the gas and coal industries is part of this radical reset. Forcing us all into EVs is also part of it, whether we want them or not.

  2. I find these fires stunning.. I’m aghast.
    Look at the amount of water used and we are in a drought. In rural VT that kind of water is not just all over the place and look at these fumes blowing around while they go get that kind of water.
    AND what on earth are these firefighters being exposed too?
    What kind of advanced medical coverage do these people need and then higher levels of training?
    And then how can all the small rural towns afford this and deal with this, many of them are broke now.

    What about the police they’d defunded? are they going to show up to help deal with this environmental disaster?
    Who pays for displaced people that have to evacuate from the toxic fumes in the air?
    What did all of this do to the groundwater.. 14,000 gallons with that crap in it running everywhere?
    I could go on and on about how many ways of BAD this is.
    People have got no idea at all about what goes on with these fires !!
    No one would ever be for this if they knew, that is why the media tried to keep this quiet.

    I’m very familiar with Route 91, there are some long runs with not a whole lot around.
    I cannot even imagine a fire like this out in those areas burning while they are looking for water..
    And this car could be on fire for a while before the fire is even reported for crying out loud.
    There is OFTEN very little traffic on 91 and what if the occupant of the car can’t do at all because they are hurt or overcome by fumes? what if their car doors don’t open?
    I think this is terrible.
    When you look at the entire cost here and potential impact.. this is nuts, it’s saving NOTHING.
    What a boondoggle, where is Ralph Nader when we need him?

    Further, this is a MUST READ. You talk about Discriminatory and Racist.. look at this!!
    “10 Facts about Electric Vehicles that advocates don’t want you to know”

  3. To all you BTV-Enviro-Feel-Good-Insane-O-Phile-Progressives…. who are SO cocky & proud that they “save the earth” with BTV EV School Busses? What happens if a school bus, with maybe 20-30 children…in that bus, with lithium batteries, running almost the full legnth of the bus…blows up and catches fire and children are trapped inside…and may die before help arrives? I’d say BTV is on the hook for a $500 million wrongful death lawsuit…. WHY? Diesel is so much safer, and cheaper….and that is a FACT.

    • Jeffrey Green consider that Burlington is a city.. imagine that bus with all the kids in it on fire and then parked near the school full of kids.. or on busy streets with buildings everywhere.
      I cannot fathom that people think this is okay.. have they lost their minds?
      These people freak out about guns and then they put their kids on these death trap busses every single day???

      It’s highly dangerous having these busses rolling around in the city, you have no idea what will happen with them. I can’t even believe this is legal, they’ll flunk your car on your inspection if your muffler is dragging but yet allow you to drive vehicles that can explode into toxic fireballs of melting carnage.

  4. I see lithium batteris have soared in cost…sometimes a replacement battery costs far more than a vehicle is worth. And new EV’s just got huge price increases as well. WHO can afford them? But what will happen nexrt? If they increase hugely (FORCE) people to buy EV’s… batteries will be in demand…BY ANY MAKER, ANYWHERE (china?)…and what will happen is that a lot of very shoddy, low quality, even dangerous…but cheaper EV batteries will be marketed and used (china could give a damn, they always cheat)…and if they are shoddy, cheap, low quality…guess what? They will face a far greater risk of fire or explosion. So, I bet, the GOV’T will have to create a new Federal multi billions Dept……..the “DBI” (not to be confused with FBI :)…..Departmet Of Battery Inspections.

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