New Rochelle Firefighters Battle “Challenging” All-Electric Vehicle Fire, No Injuries

Written By: Robert Cox

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The New Rochelle Fire Department battled a “challenging” all-electric vehicle fire this morning.

A Nissan Leaf, brought to the Nissan New Rochelle dealership on Palmer Avenue due to flood damage, caught fire outside the service area.

“I don’t know if they (Nissan) totaled it or not, but it’s totaled now, needless to say,” said Deputy Fire Chief Donald Bradley.

The New Rochelle Fire Department received a call at around 8:30 a.m. of a burning electric car. When they arrived on scene the car was just smoking but after about two minutes it caught fire according to The fire was called at about 10:30 a.m.

Firefighters used foam to extinguish the fire.

It took a long time to get the fire under control because the 900 pound lithium-ion battery powering the vehicle had to be disconnected from the underside of the car, then dropped into a two-yard container (a red dumpster). Safeway flipped the vehicle on its side. Firefighters used a pallet jack to hoist the battery up into the 2-yard container, submerged it underwater and filled the container with foam.

“It was a little bit of a challenge, but we overcame it,” said Deputy Fire Chief Bradley. “The battery is going to boil in there for a couple of days.”

“We don’t get these very often,” said Bradley. “Sometimes we get a hybrid, which is gasoline and electric.

He said he expects to get more such calls with the increase in hybrid and all-electric vehicle, which take a little longer to put out, but said firefighters will continue to train on them.

Nissan is going to have their people come in a couple of days to remove the battery once it stops boiling inside the wire, according to Bradley.

There were no injuries.

Firefighters got foam on them, so all personnel were decontaminated afterwards.