Crews put out ‘spontaneous’ Tesla battery fire on California freeway with 6,000 gallons of water

The battery compartment of a Tesla Model S vehicle “spontaneously caught fire” on eastbound Highway 50 in Rancho Cordova around 4 p.m. Saturday, slowing traffic near Sunrise Boulevard, according to the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.

Crews used 6,000 gallons of water to extinguish the fire as two fire engines, a water tender and a ladder truck arrived to find the Tesla engulfed in flames, according to Metro Fire officials. Crews used jacks to gain access beneath the vehicle to extinguish and cool the battery cells.

“The vehicle battery compartment spontaneously caught fire while it was traveling freeway speeds on EB Hwy 50,” the fire department said in a tweet. “The fire was extinguished with approx 6,000 gallons of water, as the battery cells continued to combust. Thankfully no injuries were reported.”

The California Highway Patrol was forced to close two lanes.

At 4:19 p.m., the CHP incident log revealed the difficulty of trying to put out the battery fire.

“Fire is not going out/going to try to flood (vehicle),” CHP reported.

It’s not the first time Metro Fire crews worked hard to put out a Tesla battery fire. In June 2022, a white Tesla burst into flames and kept reigniting at a California wrecking yard. The car had been involved in a crash three weeks prior and had “major damage,” fire officials said. It was sitting at the wrecking yard to be dismantled.