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Tesla Model S Catches Fire in Los Gatos, Reignites Hours Later at Tow Yard (CA)


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A Tesla Model S caught fire Tuesday in a business parking lot in Los Gatos, according to the Santa Clara County Fire Department, then reignited hours later at a tow yard in Campbell.

The silver Tesla Model S initially caught fire a little after 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Los Gatos Tire and Auto Repair at University Avenue and Industrial Way, fire officials said.

No injuries were reported, and the vehicle was not involved in a collision nor was their work being done on it, fire officials said.

Firefighters investigate a vehicle fire involving a Tesla Tuesday in Los Gatos. (Dec. 18, 2018)
Photo credit: NBC Bay Area

The owner and an employee of the tire shop said the vehicle was brought in on a tow truck. They noticed a hissing sound coming from it before the vehicle ignited moments later.

Fire crews responded and extinguished the blaze, but the batteries continued to burn long after the larger flames were put out, fire officials said. Crews remained at the scene to keep the batteries cool and ensure they didn't reignite.

The entire front of the Tesla was charred but the adjacent building was not damaged, fire officials said.

Fire crews left only after the tow truck arrived and took the burned vehicle away. But the car reignited at a tow yard on Camden Avenue in Campbell hours after the original fire, NBC Bay Area learned.

A Tesla spokesperson said in a statement: "We are currently investigating the matter and are in touch with local first responders. We are glad to hear that everyone is safe."

The owner of the vehicle told NBC Bay Area his wife said, "No more Teslas."

RESOURCE LINK with video

Tesla Reignites After Flames Put Out From Earlier Incident


CAMPBELL (CBS SF) — After fire officials spent hours on Tuesday putting out flames and cooling down the battery of a Tesla Model S that caught on fire in Los Gatos, the same car reignited shortly after.


Around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, after being towed to a yard in Campbell, the Tesla reignited, just hours after the initial flames had been put out and the battery cooled. Fire crews quickly responded and worked on putting out the new flames.


Tuesday afternoon, shortly after 2 p.m., a truck from the Santa Clara County Fire Department was dispatched to the shop on the 500 block of University Avenue between Roberts Road and Andrews Street after a report of a vehicle fire at a local business in Los Gatos.


Upon arrival, fire crews found a Tesla Model S on fire at the business, a tire repair garage. The fire was quickly put out without spreading or causing any damage to the building.


Fire officials said the Tesla had been brought to the shop after the owner had a flat tire while driving on nearby state Highway 17. The fire was noticed and reported by employees at the shop about five to ten minutes after the tow truck had dropped the vehicle off.


In the end, the front of the car completely burned away by the flames. The owner explained to KPIX 5 what he heard from the parking lot.


“I heard a strange hissing sound. I came out and there was smoke everywhere. So the shop immediately called the fire department,” said the owner, who gave his name as Chris. “And by the time they got here, the car was already on fire.”

“The vehicle started off-gassing, making a loud hissing noise and producing some additional smoke,” said Santa Clara County Fire Captain Bill Murphy. “That’s an indication that there’s some type of combustion process happening in the batteries.”


Santa Clara Fire crews planned to remain on scene to make sure the vehicle cools and is safe to tow to a different location as the investigation into the fire continues.. There were no injuries to firefighters or bystanders.


The big question that remains is how the fire started. A Tesla spokesperson told KPIX 5, “We are currently investigating the matter and are in touch with local first responders. We are glad to hear that everyone is safe.”


Tesla did not send any representatives to the fire scene in Los Gatos.


“If this car had been in my house today and we go on vacation or something and the car suddenly catches fire, the whole house can burn down. So, I’m certainly worried. My wife doesn’t want me to own another Tesla,” the owner said.

There have been reports of other Tesla fires in the Bay Area. Most of those happened after the vehicles involved crashed.


RESOURCE LINK with video

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