VIDEO: Brockton house catches fire twice in one night, sparked by lithium-ion batteries
BROCKTON – Eleven people were displaced Thursday night after a pair of fires ignited a few hours apart in a multi-family home on Bartlett Street, Brockton Fire Chief Brian Nardelli said.
About 8 p.m. Thursday, the Brockton Fire Department responded to reports of "heavy fire starting in the basement" of 168 Bartlett St.
Firefighters battled the two-alarm blaze, which they believe was caused by lithium-ion batteries that were charging a scooter in the basement, for about 45 minutes, Nardelli said.
Nardelli said there has been an uptick in lithium-ion battery fires in Brockton, and that these kinds of fires are generally caused by something called "thermal runaway," which is when "the heat generated within a battery exceeds the amount of heat that is dispersed to its surroundings," he said.
"These kinds of fires can reignite after being put out and can be very dangerous," he said.
That is exactly what happened on Bartlett Street, he said.
In the early hours of Jan. 6, reports of a rekindled fire at the same home came through about 1 a.m. Firefighters spent an hour knocking down that three-alarm blaze.
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"There was heavy smoke and extensive damage to the home's basement and first floor," Nardelli said.
The fire department retrieved roughly 40 lithium-ion batteries from the basement after they'd put out the flames.
One firefighter was checked at an area hospital after being injured during the fire. His injuries are not serious. All 11 residents of the home were displaced and are being assisted by the Red Cross.
"Please charge all of your devices appropriately and don't purchase cheaper versions of the batteries that you are supposed to charge your devices with," Nardelli advises residents.
Staff writer Namu Sampath can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can follow her on Twitter @namusampath. Thank you, subscribers. You make this coverage possible. If you are not a subscriber, please consider supporting quality local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Brockton Enterprise.
This article originally appeared on The Enterprise: Brockton house fire on Bartlett Street blamed on lithium-ion batteries