According to an article from The Lakewood Scoop, a fire at a UPS facility in Lakewood, New Jersey, was caused by lithium-ion batteries. The fire, which occurred on Wednesday afternoon, damaged seven trailers and trucks. The investigation by the Ocean County Office of the Fire Marshal revealed that numerous lithium-ion batteries inside a 53-foot shipping trailer at dock #8 ignited, becoming the sole source of ignition for the fire. These batteries were being prepared for shipment to a battery recycling facility located out-of-state and had been in the trailer for less than an hour.
The fire quickly spread to four additional trailers, three straight trucks, and the facility itself before being extinguished after five hours. Due to the complex system of conveyor belts and machinery in the building, it took seven minutes to initiate water application to combat the fire. Despite the damage caused, the UPS facility is now reported to be back online and fully operational, according to UPS spokesman Mitch Polikoff.
The article also highlights the challenges faced by firefighters when dealing with lithium batteries, especially in the context of electric vehicle fires. New Jersey State Fire Marshal Richard Mikutsky expressed concerns about EV fires, explaining that the lithium battery packs burn at extremely high temperatures. Unlike regular gasoline-powered car fires, which can be extinguished with 600 to 700 gallons of water, some EV fires may require as much as 30,000 gallons of water to suppress.