‘I didn’t know how to react’: Owner shocked after Tesla catches fire
CALIFORNIA CITY, Calif. (KBAK) – A blaze in California was started by a Tesla. Fire and rescue teams were quickly able to put out the fire, but reports show this is not an isolated incident.
The 2019 Model 3 Tesla met a fiery ending, shocking its owner, Ediel Ruiz.
“Honestly, I didn’t know how to react, I mean it just kind of happened,” he said.
Ruiz and his partner took a trip to California City to visit family last weekend.
When he received a notification on his phone that his car alarm was going off, he was met with smoke when he went outside.
Ruiz opened the back door of his car and was then met with flames. He said the first thing to melt was his 4-month-old’s car seat.
“We had that, the stroller, formula, she had just graduated from USC the day prior,” he said. “All her graduation stuff burned up.”
No one was in the car, but Ruiz said he had plans with his partner to celebrate her graduation.
“We were going to go to Bakersfield to go eat at Texas Roadhouse,” he said. “Luckily, for whatever reason, her grandparents canceled and we didn’t go. It didn’t happen while we were driving.”
Ruiz immediately called the California City Fire Department. Roadside crews plan to come and remove the vehicle in a week.
“I tried to make it clear that the car was completely gone,” Ruiz said. “I don’t think they understood how bad the fire was. So when he showed up, he said, ‘I’m not prepared or equipped to remove this, I can’t drive this down the freeway or the ash will go everywhere.’”
California Fire Department PIO David Orr said they don’t see many cases like this one, but it’s well-known that electric vehicle fires are tough to put out.
The department has specific training for their crews to handle these fires.
The Kern County Fire Department also hasn’t seen many cases but said that could change.
Ruiz is now in a rental after working with Tesla insurance. He said he won’t be able to get a new vehicle until October.
After the whole incident, he said he still encourages people to go electric.
While this is not a common occurrence, experts said it typically happens to newer electric vehicles.
It’s not just Tesla vehicles. There have also been reports of electric Kia and Chevrolet models that have spontaneously ignited.
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