Local tradie has lucky escape from lithium battery fire

Fire and Rescue are again urging locals to take more care with lithium batteries, following another week of incidents.

On Thursday, a tradesman drove to the Tingira Heights Station in Lake Macquarie, alerting crews his toolbox was on fire.

The man said he noticed a large amount of smoke billowing from the rear and when he stopped and opened his toolbox, he found an unattached battery for his hedger alight. He quickly covered the flames in dirt and drove to the station.

Firefighters opened the toolbox and noticed the dirt bubbling as the battery had entered a process, known as thermal runway where the cell was off-gassing and threatening to explode.

Thankfully, a crisis was averted, after it was submerged in a container of water until the danger had passed.

In a separate incident, an electric vehicle charging station caught alight in Berkeley Vale on the Central Coast on Thursday, prompting a massive emergency response.

FRNSW has recorded 63 Lithium-Ion battery fires to date in 2024, subject to review, at a rate of 5.7 blazes a week.

Seven people have been injured in the fires.

There were 272 Lithium-Ion battery-related fires in 2023, at a rate of 5.2 a week.

Thirty eight people were injured last year.

FRNSW is reinforcing its public messages to households and businesses to use extra caution around Lithium-Ion batteries and related devices.