Home / Auto News / News article: Chevy Volt Not the Cause of Garage Fire Says Fire Marshall - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Nov 14 2011, 10:00 AM

In the case of a fire in the garage of a North Carolina home where a Chevrolet Volt was being charged at the time, the Volt has been proven – not guilty.

When news first came out regarding this incident, many believed the culprit behind this fire could be the Volt, but Iredell County chief deputy fire marshal Garland Cloer says; “the source of ignition seems to be from outside the area of the vehicles.”

This fire attracted investigators from many companies to come forward to access the cause of the blaze. These included representatives from Nissan, Chevrolet, Siemens, Duke Energy and the homeowners insurance company.

The reason there were so many investigators is because at the time of the fire, the garage housed a Nissan Armada, the Chevrolet Volt, a Siemens 240-volt recharging station, and many miscellaneous items such as a electric cars for kids, not to mention gasoline and other hazardous materials.

The fire marshal said that fire usually follows a “V” path as it spreads, and according to their findings, the fire originated from another source, not the cars. Cloer said that when a fire originates from the car, things like its seats, carpets and rubber hoses are not left intact, but they were in this case, another indication the Volt was not guilty.

Total damage to the house is appraised at $800,000.

[Source: Green Car Reports]

  • James

    I notice a convenient lack of certain details and a few ‘conditional statements’. “The fire marshal said that fire usually follows a “V” path as it spreads” Usually? Also missing is the actual culprit being specifically named, especially with such a high profile/interest case. Also having to consider this story being release today on the same site… http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2011/12/chevrolet-volt-battery-issues-growing-safety-findings-may-have-been-suppressed.html

  • Dave

    There are a number of factors that can alter the V-Pattern, such as ventilation sources, presence of flammable fluids at that location, etc. As to not releasing a specific cause, it could be that they were unable to prove another cause, even though the origin can be proved to be in a different area than the car. Don’t automatically bring out the conspiracy theories. It is apparent that you have never done a fire investigation.

  • Ralph

    Duke Energy had placed a moritorium on charging any Chevy Volts until the fire investigation was complete. On Dec. 1, they lifted the moritorium.

    Not only did the charger NOT start the fire … it was still charging as the fire was spreading to the Volt. The charger was sending messages that it was getting warm in the garage. It was functioning perfectly.

    The inside of the car was not gutted … which proves the fire did not start in the car. In fact, the fire marshal stated that the fire started in the third bay of the garage. The Volt was parked in the first bay.

    http://www.freep.com/article/20111201/BUSINESS0101/111201066/House-fire-investigators-say-Chevy-Volt-charger-not-blame-North-Carolina-blaze

    About the fire that occured 3 weeks after a Volt was crash tested. EVEN JUNK YARDS HAVE A PROTOCAL OF DRAINING GAS TANKS AND REMOVING BATTERIES when a crashed vehicle is towed to their facility. Why did the test center need to be told by GM that this is a protocal to follow. THEY ARE THE CRASH EXPERTS! And FYI, it was the coolant that leaked and crystalized in the hot sun that caused the batteries to catch fire. In a real crash … the coolant would not have a chance to crystalize because the accident would be cleared within an hour or two.