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600 Gallons of Water Per Minute Help Suppress Challenging Fire

Incident Number: 22-08855
Incident Date: Thursday, September 15, 2022 at 11:18 AM
Incident Location: In Back of 1132 E Main Street

At 11:18 AM today, the Stamford Combined 911 Dispatch Center began receiving calls of a car fire behind the Blue Ginger Restaurant at 1132 E Main Street.  Additional calls reported the car to be a Tesla.  Two engines, a truck company, and an incident commander were initially dispatched to the incident bringing 14 firefighters to the scene as part of the initial assignment in just a few minutes.

Engine Company 4 arrived on the scene at 11:24 and reported a car fire in a parking lot, heavily involved in flames.  It was quickly confirmed that the vehicle on fire was a battery-powered Tesla.  The vehicle was several car lengths away from other vehicles and posed no immediate danger to them.  Electric vehicle fires have been in the news frequently due to the difficulty many departments are having extinguishing them.

An initial 1-3/4″ hose line was stretched by the crew of Engine 4, who began pouring 200 gallons of water per minute onto and into the vehicle.  As soon as Engine 4 was hooked up to a hydrant, two additional 1-3/4 lines were put into action by other fire companies on the scene, delivering a total of 600 gallons per minute to the fire.  Firefighters continued pouring water onto the fire for 40 minutes before they were able to declare the fire extinguished.

“A normal car fire usually requires no more than a single hose line,” according to Deputy Chief Eric Lorenz, the Incident Commander for the fire. “But we know from other Fire Departments’ experiences that large amounts of water are the only solution when compared to a traditional vehicle fire.” he continued.

According to Fire Officers on the scene, this fire may have been relatively easy to put out compared to some others across the nation because the entire bank of batteries dropped on the ground underneath the vehicle, where firefighters were focusing their fire attack.

The Stamford Fire Haz Mat Team, Fairfield County Haz Mat Team, Stamford EMS, Stamford Police, and several additional divisions of the Fire Department all responded and assisted with various aspects of the incident.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection,  the Stamford Fire Haz Mat Team, and a hazardous waste cleanup company are all still on the scene at of 4:30 PM, preparing to remove the vehicle to a safe and secure location.  “This is no routine car fire,” Chief Lorenz said. “It requires special handling.”

No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.  The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Stamford Fire Marshals Office.

Links to SFD videos posted on the Stamfordfire Youtube Channel

All Video and Photo Credits:  Stamford Fire Department

Fully Involved Tesla Car Fire Takes 42 Minutes to Extinguish

Posted: September 15, 2022
About the Author: Captain Philip Hayes
Captain Hayes is a 31-year veteran of the Stamford Fire Department. He is currently assigned to the East Side Fire Station #4 on Shippan Avenue. In addition to his regular Fire Officer duties, he is a Public Relations Officer, the developer of the StamfordFire.com website and serves on the Departments' IT Team. He is also an avid fan of Fire Department history.
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