Discarded batteries were the cause of a vehicle fire in Nelson on Wednesday morning.
At about 10:45 a.m. Nelson Fire Rescue responded to a report of a fire with batteries exploding.
Upon arrival at the Nelson Leafs Recycling Depot, crews noted that the fire had been substantially knocked down by people in the area using two dry chemical extinguishers.
Firefighters encountered a small amount of fire still in the vehicle that was quickly extinguished once they were able to access the interior.
The fire appears to have originated in a bag of lithium watch style batteries that were being transported to be recycled at a different facility. The interior of the vehicle sustained fire damage in the front area and smoke damage throughout.
No injuries were reported as a result of this incident. Damage is estimated at $5,500. The cause of the fire was the lithium batteries shorting out.
Nelson Fire Rescue has had a number of instances where batteries have been stored in a drawer and something as simple as a paper clip has shorted it out and caused a fire. Batteries should be kept in their original packaging until required. Proper battery storage in a dry, cool area with sufficient ventilation can extend the lifespan of most chemical batteries. Old batteries which have lost their charge should be discarded separately from regular household trash, much like other chemical substances such as household cleaners, paint and solvents.