Concerning Uptick in Lithium-ion Battery Fires 

On April 2nd and April 3rd, within a 24-hour span, two separate home fire incidents occurred in San Diego county. Fire officials reported that both fires were most likely caused by lithium-ion batteries. The first fire was on the morning of Sunday, April 2nd and occured in a Barrio Logan apartment.

NBC  San Diego reported that the fire occurred when a charging e-bike battery ignited in flames. One of the residents attempted to put out the fire by pouring water on it, which caused the battery to explode. The man rushed his girlfriend out of the burning apartment and sustained burn injuries to his arms and legs. The fire completely destroyed the property and caused severe burn injuries to one of the victims.

The second fire occurred less than 24-hours later in a Loma Portal home. The smoke detectors alerted the family to a fire contained in a closet. Although the cause of the fire has not been confirmed, officials believe it was due to a lithium-ion battery. The family and pets were able to escape without injury, and the damage to property was minimal.

In March 2023, a  residential fire in Carlsbad was caused by the lithium-ion battery of an e-scooter. The residents of the home were unharmed but the property was damaged. Auto Blog reported three incidents of garbage truck fires caused by lithium-ion batteries that occurred in December 2022. The fires were caused by improperly disposed lithium batteries which ignited when going through the garbage truck compactor.

The growing number of fires caused by lithium-ion batteries is incredibly concerning, because of how fast the fires start and spread, their propensity to explode, and resistance to common-house-hold extinguishers.

According to a March 2023 CNN report, several factors contribute to the concerning uptick in fires caused by lithium fires.

  1. There is a growing number of devices and gadgets that run on lithium-ion batteries.
  2. The materials in lithium batteries are highly flammable.
  3. Fires or explosions can be caused by several internal and external triggers including an electric fault, damage to the device or battery, and overheating.
  4. The market is packed with low-quality lithium-ion batteries.
  5. They can be dangerous when disposed of incorrectly.

Lithium-ion batteries are prevalent in today’s e-world. Unfortunately, poorly manufactured and defective devices, paired with lagging tech legislation continues to pose a threat to consumers everywhere.

In 2020, the CaseyGerry team represented Angela Bolger against the e-commerce giant, Amazon.Com. Bolger sustained severe, life-changing burn injuries when the lithium-ion laptop battery spontaneously exploded. The defective battery was a replacement purchased from Amazon.Com. The initial judgement ruled in favor of, however, the CaseyGerry team successfully appealed the case and, in what was a precedent-setting win against, won the appeal and gained justice for the plaintiff. Read more about Bolger vs. Amazon here. 

If you or a loved one has sustained injuries or suffered loss of life or property due to a fire or explosion caused by a lithium-ion battery, we encourage you to contact our burn injury attorneys for a confidential consultation.