2 killed in fiery Tesla crash

Firefighters stayed at the scene for about four hours keeping the vehicle's batteries cool

Update April 20, 2021: The Woodlands Township Fire Department Chief Palmer Buck said in a statement to the Houston Chronicle that firefighters extinguished the fire after a fatal Tesla crash within minutes, not four hours as previously reported by the Chronicle. 

"With respect to the fire fight, unfortunately, those rumors grew way out of control. It did not take us four hours to put out the blaze. Our guys got there and put down the fire within two to three minutes, enough to see the vehicle had occupants. After that, it was simply cooling the car as the batteries continued to have a chain reaction due to damage," Buck told the Houston Chronicle. "... We had to keep it cool, were on scene for four hours, but we were simply pouring a little bit of water on it. It was not because flames were coming out. It was a reaction in the battery pan. It was not an active fire." 

Original report:

Rebecca Carballo
Houston Chronicle

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas — Two people died Saturday after their Tesla struck a tree in The Woodlands and burst into flames, a fiery crash which took hours to extinguish.

Woodlands Fire department, Montgomery County Hospital District and Cypress Creek EMS were dispatched around 9 p.m. to a fire in the woods in the Carlton Woods Subdivision on Hammock Dunes Place.

Several neighbors had called reporting a fire in the woods, and that a car had crashed and exploded, Palmer Buck, the Woodlands Fire Department chief said.


Just before 930 Saturday night TWFD and Montgomery County Hospital District were dispatched to a reported fire in the...

Posted by The Woodlands Fire Department on Sunday, April 18, 2021

When the responding units arrived at the scene firefighters discovered the bodies of two males in the Tesla Model S, according to the Montgomery County Police Reporter. Due to the high energy batteries, Woodlands firefighters worked close to four hours to extinguish the fire. Firefighters used over 23,000 gallons of water to put out the flames.

The vehicle's batteries kept reigniting, which isn't unusual for electric vehicles, Buck said.

Harris County Hazmat also responded to the scene. The cause of the crash is still being investigated.

[Read next: Tesla on fire: How to extinguish an electric car fire]


(c)2021 the Houston Chronicle

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