Electric car sparks Port St Lucie fire

Posted at 12:24 PM, Aug 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-09 08:54:11-04

A man was rushed to the hospital early Saturday morning suffering burns and smoke inhalation after his electric vehicle caught fire in his Port St Lucie home.

It was a frightening sight -- flames shooting through the air from a Port St Lucie home Saturday morning.
Neighbors say they heard what sounded like explosions.

“Like something boom,” said Ivan Reid, who lives next door. “I thought it was on the highway.”

Priscilla Johnson shared cellphone pictures with us.

“When we came outside we heard all kinds of popping,” said Priscilla, who called 911. “We were just freaking out and we were just worried to see whether the family got out of the house or not.”

The family made it out in time. The man who lives there suffered minor burns and was rushed to the hospital.

The best firefighters can determine is that the fire sparked somewhere between the battery inside the Ford C-Max and the electrical outlet the car was plugged into.

Neighbor Gery Gallagher watched helplessly.

“The door opened and the flames just shot out,” said Gery. “I mean it was like a flame thrower.”

We called the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate whether anyone else experienced a car fire like this one.

NHTSA reports no complaints or investigations into any fires.

“I’ll tell you one thing, I'll never buy an electric car, thank you” said Gery.

As devastating as the fire was, firefighters had it under control in 20 minutes.

“After that the fire department, the police, they were great,” said Gery.

Police say damages are at least $35,000 between just the car and boat alone but there’s much more damage to the home.

The fire marshal will continue to investigate the cause of the fire.