Bishal Malla feels lucky to be alive following his Tesla catching fire while he was driving on Saturday May, 6. “It’s just all gone,” Bishal Malla said. “I’m just so lucky to be alive.” Malla explains he was running errands and preparing to enter the freeway at Cosumnes and Highway 99 when he felt his car shaking and assumed he had a flat tire. The moment he opened his car door he saw smoke coming from underneath the vehicle. He reported that he recalled news reports about Tesla fires so he called 911.
After a short period of time the smoke became large flames and the car was engulfed in flames. Malla told media that he was about to go home to take his family to a party. He said it was hard not to wonder what could have been the result had his family been in the car. Would there have been sufficient time to get his children out of the back seat. Malla reports that he is already working with his insurance company and has no plans to purchase another Electric Vehicle in the future as a result of this.
Chief Robert Kasparian, of the Cosumnes Fire told media the best practice right now for firefighters battling an electric vehicle fire is to let it burn. “The issue with the electric vehicles is access to the batteries,” he said. “The batteries are what are causing the enormous amount of heat buildup. A lot of times fire departments will just let the vehicle burn until it’s down to the point where they can actually access the batteries and put water or firefighting foam on the batteries themselves.” He said the department seemed to have seen an increase in electric vehicle fires, adding that they can be challenging for first responders. He said electric vehicle fires often require longer response times, a lot of water and additional resources to watch the vehicle to ensure the fire doesn’t reignite after the vehicle is towed away.
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