BROCKTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Nine people were forced from their homes Thursday night after a fire broke out in Brockton.
The fire started in the basement of a Bartlett Street home around 8 p.m. Firefighters thought the fire had been put out, but it eventually sparked back up and spread to the back of the house and up to the third floor.
The fire is believed to have been caused by lithium-ion batteries, according to Brockton Fire Chief Brian Nardelli. No injuries were reported.
Lithium-ion batteries are becoming a leading cause of house fires, said Rhode Island State Fire Marshal Tim McLaughlin.
“Cell phones, laptops, everything’s got lithium batteries these days,” McLaughlin said. “It’s becoming a lithium battery world, I think, so we all have to be a little bit more cautious as we go forward.”
In November, several apartments were damaged in a fire at University Heights in Providence. Fire Chief Derek Silva said investigators are looking into an electric scooter as the cause.
McLaughlin said it’s best to charge large items like scooters and electric bikes outside, and smaller items away from anything that can catch fire.
“My suggestion is don’t ever bring it in your house. If you’ve got a garage, or somewhere where you don’t have to bring it in your house, don’t,” he said. “We all have our phones, you take it, you charge it, you throw it on the bed. Put it somewhere where it’s not on anything that’s really combustible. Once it’s charged, take it off the charger.”
He recommends, if you see your battery starting to overheat and smoke, grab it safely, throw it outside and put water on it.