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When will San Diego's lithium-ion fires stop?

'You can't just spray water on it'

"If you see a [e-bike or e-scooter] fire, leave the building immediately."
"If you see a [e-bike or e-scooter] fire, leave the building immediately."

On May 18, a Zero electric scooter caught fire at an apartment complex in Normal Heights. The Thursday night fire by the hillside overlooking Mission Valley and just west of the 805 was the fifth lithium-ion battery fire in San Diego County reported in 2023. Also referred to as a Li-ion battery, it was the cause of another fire on an airplane that left San Diego International Airport earlier in the year.

News outlets worldwide report that rechargeable lithium-ion battery fires are more prevalent because of the inferior composition of certain cheaper-made batteries. And San Diego County is feeling the heat as well.

"San Diego Fire Rescue responded to a report of an apartment fire near the 9000 block of Idaho Street," reads a 911 VIDEO NEWS video post caption about the fire mentioned earlier in Normal Heights. "Upon their arrival, they had light smoke coming from the apartment. Firefighters made entry and reported an extinguished electric scooter was extinguished. According to a witness on the scene, one of the neighbors extinguished the scooter prior to SDFD’s arrival .... A Hazmat was also dispatched to the scene."

"When it comes to lithium-ion batteries seen in your scooters and cell phones, lithium-ion is a certain type of chemical where it's classified a certain way," said Josh A. in a recent interview with me. "It's Class 9. [The batteries are] manufactured, packaged, and shipped a certain way. And there's a first responder response to those types of Class 9 fires where hazmat responds to lithium-ion battery fires."

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Josh, who requested only to use his first name, was a firefighter for a couple of years.

Burnt scooter

"You can't just spray water on it; if you spray water on electricity and if you mix water with that chemical, it's going to arc even more and create more of a fire."

The 1:45 minute video clip of the Normal Heights scooter fire aftermath depicts a woman getting treated by fire department personnel "for minor burns," which she sustained "while attempting to put the fire out."

"If you see a [e-bike or e-scooter] fire," reads the SanDiego.gov site, "leave the building immediately. Don't try to fight the fire. Call 911."

On April 3, on Dumas Street in the Liberty Station neighborhood, a lithium battery stored in a closet reportedly self-combusted and ignited a fire, said 911 VIDEO NEWS. The blaring smoke detectors woke up the family, then they, including their dogs, immediately left the house.

A day prior, on April 2, about 8 miles southwest of Liberty Station, 911 VIDEO NEWS reported about another fire in Logan Heights. "The couple was inside their apartment, and they were charging their electric bike inside. The lithium battery overheated and started a fire. The male attempted to put the fire out when the battery exploded and sent the acid all over the male. He was badly burned and transported to the UCSD Burn Center. The female ran out of the apartment completely naked. Neighbors who evacuated the apartment complex gave her blankets to cover herself."

In March, a city of Carlsbad spokesperson reportedly said two fires in their coastal city were attained to lithium-ion batteries, the latter to an electric scooter and its charger.

Defective and damaged batteries can overheat, catch fire, or explode, adds the city of San Diego site. And on top of that, lithium-ion battery fires emit toxic gases, burning exceedingly hot.

In February, a lithium-ion battery caught on fire in a cabin on a United Airlines airplane that left San Diego en route to Newark, New Jersey, reported NBC News. Seven people were injured on the flight, and the pilot returned to San Diego.

The city site adds to look out for "these problems with the battery: unusual odor, change in color, too much heat, change in shape, leaking, smoking, or not keeping a charge." And if you need to get rid of the batteries from your home or workplace, do not discard the lithium-ion batteries in the trash, but instead drop off the batteries at a local battery recycling location or contact your local waste department for disposal instructions.

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"If you see a [e-bike or e-scooter] fire, leave the building immediately."
"If you see a [e-bike or e-scooter] fire, leave the building immediately."

On May 18, a Zero electric scooter caught fire at an apartment complex in Normal Heights. The Thursday night fire by the hillside overlooking Mission Valley and just west of the 805 was the fifth lithium-ion battery fire in San Diego County reported in 2023. Also referred to as a Li-ion battery, it was the cause of another fire on an airplane that left San Diego International Airport earlier in the year.

News outlets worldwide report that rechargeable lithium-ion battery fires are more prevalent because of the inferior composition of certain cheaper-made batteries. And San Diego County is feeling the heat as well.

"San Diego Fire Rescue responded to a report of an apartment fire near the 9000 block of Idaho Street," reads a 911 VIDEO NEWS video post caption about the fire mentioned earlier in Normal Heights. "Upon their arrival, they had light smoke coming from the apartment. Firefighters made entry and reported an extinguished electric scooter was extinguished. According to a witness on the scene, one of the neighbors extinguished the scooter prior to SDFD’s arrival .... A Hazmat was also dispatched to the scene."

"When it comes to lithium-ion batteries seen in your scooters and cell phones, lithium-ion is a certain type of chemical where it's classified a certain way," said Josh A. in a recent interview with me. "It's Class 9. [The batteries are] manufactured, packaged, and shipped a certain way. And there's a first responder response to those types of Class 9 fires where hazmat responds to lithium-ion battery fires."

Sponsored
Sponsored

Josh, who requested only to use his first name, was a firefighter for a couple of years.

Burnt scooter

"You can't just spray water on it; if you spray water on electricity and if you mix water with that chemical, it's going to arc even more and create more of a fire."

The 1:45 minute video clip of the Normal Heights scooter fire aftermath depicts a woman getting treated by fire department personnel "for minor burns," which she sustained "while attempting to put the fire out."

"If you see a [e-bike or e-scooter] fire," reads the SanDiego.gov site, "leave the building immediately. Don't try to fight the fire. Call 911."

On April 3, on Dumas Street in the Liberty Station neighborhood, a lithium battery stored in a closet reportedly self-combusted and ignited a fire, said 911 VIDEO NEWS. The blaring smoke detectors woke up the family, then they, including their dogs, immediately left the house.

A day prior, on April 2, about 8 miles southwest of Liberty Station, 911 VIDEO NEWS reported about another fire in Logan Heights. "The couple was inside their apartment, and they were charging their electric bike inside. The lithium battery overheated and started a fire. The male attempted to put the fire out when the battery exploded and sent the acid all over the male. He was badly burned and transported to the UCSD Burn Center. The female ran out of the apartment completely naked. Neighbors who evacuated the apartment complex gave her blankets to cover herself."

In March, a city of Carlsbad spokesperson reportedly said two fires in their coastal city were attained to lithium-ion batteries, the latter to an electric scooter and its charger.

Defective and damaged batteries can overheat, catch fire, or explode, adds the city of San Diego site. And on top of that, lithium-ion battery fires emit toxic gases, burning exceedingly hot.

In February, a lithium-ion battery caught on fire in a cabin on a United Airlines airplane that left San Diego en route to Newark, New Jersey, reported NBC News. Seven people were injured on the flight, and the pilot returned to San Diego.

The city site adds to look out for "these problems with the battery: unusual odor, change in color, too much heat, change in shape, leaking, smoking, or not keeping a charge." And if you need to get rid of the batteries from your home or workplace, do not discard the lithium-ion batteries in the trash, but instead drop off the batteries at a local battery recycling location or contact your local waste department for disposal instructions.

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