$1.3M Fire at GM Plant Likely Caused by Punctured Batteries

A forklift hit a pallet of EV batteries.

Late last year, responders were called to a GM plant in Detroit when a fire broke out on the factory floor.

Crain’s Detroit Business has reported that a 3-alarm fire on December 19th brought up to a hundred firefighters to the 11.6 million square foot compound dubbed "Factory Zero," which is a decades-old plant that was retooled in order to become GM’s first dedicated EV assembly plant.

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According to GM, their initial investigation revealed the fire broke out due to a forklift’s collision with a pallet of EV batteries where several were allegedly punctured. The batteries reportedly ignited, creating a fire that took seven hours to put out.

GM Authority says that the firefighters used “copious amounts of water and foam” as well as car fire blankets that were given to them by factory workers.

One first responder was injured in a fall and hospitalized and all, according to the fire department, were exposed to “lithium-ion off-gas.” Crain’s indicated that the Detroit Fire Department had concerns about the number of recent calls from Factory Zero and were “working hand in hand” with GM for “a better internal protocol for handling these electric vehicle batteries.”

Factory Zero was said to have sustained about $300,000 in damage due to the fire, with goods and equipment losses at about a million.

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