Chandler Fire learns much from lithium battery fire

  • Source: SanTan Sun News
  • Published: 05/13/2022 12:00 AM

Experience, they say, is the best teacher. But what happens when you don’t have a lot of experience? “We learned a lot,” said Chandler Battalion Chief Keith Welch after dealing with the city’s first major lithium-ion battery fire. Welch said the one thing they knew about lithium battery fires before this one: handle with care. That’s because of a 2019 incident in Surprise that sent eight Peoria firefighters to the hospital. So, Chandler Fire was slow and deliberate in dealing with a lithium battle fire at a Salt River Project battery storage facility owned by AES Corporation south of the Loop 202 on 54th Street. “Our strategy on [April 29] to shut off the sprinklers and further ventilate the building paid off,” Welch said. “We monitored the building for 48 hours before we turned the facilities back over to AES.” It took a lot of time and patience to get to that point.


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