PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.-- Fire investigators are blaming charging lithium batteries for starting a house fire in Port St Lucie. The fire on Tuesday night left significant smoke damage to the home, but no one was injured.
“In this case, the batteries were left unattended,” says Capt. Paul Langel of the St Lucie County Fire Protection District.
Langel says the lithium batteries can ignite during recharging, especially if an improper charger is being used.
In this case, authorities say the batteries were being charged for model cars.
“It’s a very intense heat,” says Michael Abraira of Radio Controlled Revolution hobby store in West Palm Beach, who was referring to the batteries exploding.
“The voltage gets beyond the breaking point and so the pack starts to swell and eventually ruptures, once it ruptures it lets out a very white bright flame.”
Experts say only use the charger that came with the batteries or battery-equipped devices. They also say to never leave charging batteries or devices unattended.