Multiple electric semi trucks erupted in flames this morning, causing emergency crews to respond.
According to Fox 10, four electric semis were engulfed in flames in Phoenix, Arizona on June 23. Strong black smoke and heavy chemical smells filled the area as hazmat crews responded to the incident. The semis were parked at the Nikola Corporation building when the fires began.
Responders to the scene told Fox 10 that a chemical reaction in the semis’ batteries caused a spark that spread to the other vehicles.
See coverage of the fires below:
In a tweet from Nikola, they stated that foul play is suspected. A vehicle was reportedly seen near the trucks before the fires broke out.
Early this morning behind our Phoenix headquarters, a fire occurred which affected multiple battery electric trucks. No one has been injured. Foul play is suspected as a vehicle was seen in the area of the affected trucks just prior to the incident and an investigation is…
— Nikola Motor Company (@nikolamotor) June 23, 2023
Phoenix Fire Captain Todd Keller told Fox 10 that they worked hard to cool the trucks down to prevent the fire from spreading further. However, that was difficult because of the size of the batteries and the trucks. “So these cells that are packed in these batteries, they contain a lot of energy in a small amount of space, so extinguishing these are very difficult,” he said.
Despite the batteries being small, the trucks themselves are too big to douse with sand to extinguish the fire. Instead, fire crews sprayed the big rigs with water to cool them down.
— Phoenix Fire Dept. (@PHXFire) June 23, 2023
The incident is currently under investigation.