Tesla repeatedly catches fire at California wrecking yard

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Firefighters in California said they had to dig a pit and fill it with water when a Tesla at a wrecking yard kept self-igniting.

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The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District shared photos and videos of the vehicle, which was charred and nearly unrecognizable, on its Facebook page. Officials said that the Tesla had initially been involved in a crash in mid-May and had been brought to the wrecking yard to be dismantled because it had sustained major damage.

A video the fire department posted to Instagram shows the Tesla engulfed in flames. The firefighters said that every time that they managed to put the fire out, the battery would reignite.

Crews said in the post that they eventually dug a pit, put the car inside it, and filled it with enough water to submerge the car’s battery compartment and prevent it from continuing to reignite.

Captain Parker Wilbourn, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Fire District, told The Washington Post that the fire burned hotter than 3,000 degrees. Fire officials estimated they used 4,500 gallons of water to battle the fire.

The cause of the fire is not yet determined, and was the first time the department had fought a Tesla fire, Wilbourn told The Post.

“This is a whole new animal for the fire service,” Wilbourn told the paper. “We’re still trying to wrap our heads around the [electric vehicle] fires.”

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