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Everett Fire Department

Posted on: October 9, 2023

Lithium battery likely cause of North Everett house fire

Three firefighters standing in front of a home that caught fire.

EVERETT, WA – Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire at a residence in the Riverside neighborhood this morning. There were no injuries.

Everett Fire crews were dispatched to the 2100 block of Walnut Street just after 11:35 a.m. to a report of a house fire with flames coming from a window. Engine 2 arrived on scene within minutes of the call to find light smoke showing from the residence. A window air conditioner was found on fire, which had spread to a piece of nearby furniture in the room. A water supply was quickly established, and firefighters contained and quickly extinguished the fire, preventing it from spreading throughout the rest of the home. Occupants of the home self-evacuated. 

Preliminary information points towards a lithium battery-powered ‘jump starter battery pack’ as the likely cause of the fire, with flames spreading to the air conditioning unit in the window and nearby furniture.

Lithium batteries supply power to many of our household devices, including smartphones, power banks, laptops, tablets, scooters, e-cigarettes, smoke alarms, toys, and vehicles. These types of batteries store large amounts of energy and can pose a threat if not treated properly. Like any product, a small number of these batteries can be defective. Everett Fire wants you to take care when using them because, in rare cases, they can overheat, catch fire or explode.

Safety Tips When Using Lithium-Ion Batteries: 

  • When purchasing devices, be sure that the equipment has the Underwriters Laboratories Mark. The UL mark shows that the product has been safety-tested.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s recommended instructions.
  • Only use the battery that is designed for the device.
  • Place batteries in the device the correct way.
  • Only use the charging cord that came with the device; the power adapter is made specifically for that device. Do not buy cheaper chargers for replacement.
  • Do not charge your device under your pillow, on your bed, on your couch, or armchair.
  • Keep batteries at room temperature; do not place them in direct sunlight or keep them in hot vehicles.
  • Store batteries away from anything that can catch fire.

Signs of a Problem:

Stop using the battery if you notice these problems: odor, change in color, too much heat, change in shape, leaking, or if you hear odd noises coming from the battery. 

For more information on lithium battery safety, visit the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA.org) website.

This is a good reminder to have working smoke alarms in your home. They are the first line of defense for early notification and evacuation should there be a fire.

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