Electric car fire in a garage

Operational Incidents

EV fire | Norway, January 2023

17 January 2023, Kongsberg Fire and Rescue Service & Vestfold Interkommunale Brannvesen IKS in Norway attended a fire in a row of garages.

Four vehicles were dispatched to the scene and arrived after approximately 20 minutes. On arrival, flames were blazing through the roof of the eight-car garage. Two sectors were created. The crew used a low-pressure hose in the front of the garage and a Cobra through the back and end wall. This had a good effect as the Cobras’ water mist created a large amount of steam.

When the garage fire was extinguished, the team realized the remaining fire came from an electric car’s battery. They removed the garage door and found the vehicle wholly burnt out. The thermal imaging camera (TIC) showed the battery was still burning.

Cobra used to get water inside the battery

The Cobra operator initially attacked the battery through the car’s rear window. There were small explosions and sparks, and it was clear that the battery was propagating. The operator held the position for about 5 minutes until the flames and heat subsided. The Cobra operator then took another point of attack, this time from the side of the car, as he wanted to create a fire break in the battery. He stayed in the new position for about 8 minutes.

A unique incident

The Rescue Services have been using Cobra for a few years and have had some success. This is the first time they have used Cobra on an EV fire. The operator was a Cobra instructor and used his knowledge of fire and Cobra to achieve an outstanding result in a safe and controlled operation.

 “Getting close enough to see what is happening with a thermal imaging camera is essential when using the Cobra. I saw what happened in the battery, which gave me information on how to deal with it.”

Håvard Hauge, Vestfold Interkommunale Brannvesen IKS

Minimal amount of water used

In the extinguishing operation, the crew used about 780 litres of water. This can be compared to one car manufacturer that recommends using up to 11,000 litres of water to extinguish an electric vehicle fire.

Benefits of using Cobra
  • Easy to use
  • Ergonomic
  • Minimal water use
  • Safe to use after training
  • A multi-dimensional tool that has many areas of use
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