Florida firefighters face difficult battle while responding to electric car fires

ORLANDO, Fla. — Electric cars are all the rage these days.


But what happens if they burst into raging flames?

It is happening all too often in Southwest Florida in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

Channel 9 is digging into how both firefighters and state leaders are trying to tame the flames before they get out of control.

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Crews have been seen rushing to hose down electric cars that were damaged by Hurricane Ian in Southwest Florida.

Officials said the car batteries are catching fire and endangering everyone around them.

Firefighters said the fires can also reignite and take hours to put out.

Ed Angelotti, district chief of special operations for the Orlando Fire Department, said putting out an EV fire is in another league of its own.

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“A normal car fire we could put out with 500 to 700 gallons,” Angelotti said. “These type of fires are taking what’s the whole package fire out and cooling down the batteries. You’re talking anywhere from 20, 30, 40,000 gallons of water.

Angelotti said the fire starts after a battery has been compromised.

In Southwest Florida, it is all from the flood waters, but the same reaction can happen after an accident or overheating.

He said his crews have worked similar fires on a much smaller scale with electric scooters and bikes and the response is very different.

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State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis asked for guidance from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is now calling on automakers and manufacturers to pitch in.

In the meantime, with the rise in popularity of electric vehicles, fire departments across our area are doing their research to remain ready.

See more in the video above.

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