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Two elderly residents rescued after electric wheelchair sparks blaze at Ann Arbor complex

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - Two elderly residents were rescued from a burning apartment in Ann Arbor after an electric wheelchair sparked a blaze.

The City of Ann Arbor Fire Department (AAFD) said crews responded to the overnight fire call at 12:18 a.m. in the 2000 block of South Main Street. 

Engine 1-6 rescued the residents from the apartment, which AAFD said had smoke banked down to the floor. Both residents were transported by HVA to the University of Michigan Hospital for smoke inhalation and extremely elevated carbon monoxide levels.   

In a Facebook post, the fire department said two fire sprinklers were activated, which limited the spread of the blaze. However, smoke and water impacted multiple units, which caused a partial evacuation of the facility. As the incident was contained, patients from affected rooms were able to be moved to other parts of the facility.

The department said the fire was caused by a thermal-runaway reaction of a lithium-ion battery from an electric wheelchair. AAFD said they were prepared for such an incident and the remaining battery cells were packaged in a material called CellBlock to prevent further reaction.

Damage is estimated to be more than $200,000. 

LITHIUM-ION BATTERY FIRE with RESCUE - November 22, 2022 at 12:18 AM, shift 3 citywide, Chief 1-2 and Chief 1 responded...

Posted by City of Ann Arbor Fire Department - Government on Tuesday, November 22, 2022
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