Lithium-Ion Battery Blamed in Leesburg-area Fire

Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Fire Marshal’s Office investigators determined that the Tuesday afternoon fire in a Woodburn Road building was caused by the failure lithium-ion battery pack during a charging cycle. The fire caused an estimated $5 million dollars in damages.

At approximately 12:30 p.m. May 3, county dispatchers received a 911 call from a homeowner reporting a fire in an outbuilding. Fire and Rescue units from Hamilton, Leesburg, Aldie, Purcellville, Lansdowne, and Moorefield Station were dispatched. Arrive crews found the 400-square-foot building heavily involved in fire. The fire spread to nearby trees and brush before they were able to bring it under control.

No injuries were reported. 

Within the past 12 months, Loudoun County has investigated seven fires caused by charging lithium batteries. 

The department recommends:

· Always keeping batteries, charging cords, and charging devices clear of flammable or combustible materials.

·  Monitoring any battery or device that is being charged during the entire charging cycle.

·  Stopping use of batteries immediately if you notice an odd odor, change in color or shape, excessive heat from the battery when in use or charging, leaks, or odd noises. If it is safe to do so, move the device away from anything that can catch fire or relocate the device outside the home and call 911.

·   Always following the manufacturer’s instructions, and only using the battery and charging cord that is designed for the device.

·  Ensuring all cords and wires are not damaged or worn.

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