Fire officials: Electric car fires could become more common as lithium-ion batteries become more popular

Stamford first responders say it took 40 minutes and more than 20,000 gallons of water to extinguish a Tesla battery after it caught fire Thursday morning. Officials say lithium-ion batteries offer unique challenges for firefighters.
Stamford fire crews tested new techniques Thursday as they fought Connecticut's first electric vehicle fire.
It happened on East Main Street Thursday. Firefighters say the Tesla's driver pulled off the road and called 911 after he heard popping sounds and smelled smoke shortly after charging.
They say extinguishing the battery took 600 gallons of water a minute for more than 40 minutes. Firefighters say they were on scene from just before 12 p.m. to almost 9 p.m. Thursday.
First responders say this type of fire will become more common, as lithium-ion batteries become more popular -- in scooters as well as in vehicles.
"They have to basically be cooled down to the ambient temperature to stop the chemical chain reaction that causes the fire," said Capt. Philip Hayes.
Deputy Chief Eric Lorenz says electric car fires burn hotter than traditional car fires and offer different problems.
"When the batteries vent, the fire vents under pressure, and it's almost like a welding torch, it has a unique sound to it," he said.
No one was hurt in Thursday's fire.