Jacksonville firefighters worked for hours Tuesday to secure a fire at a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Cecil Commerce Center on the Westside. The building, toured in 2016 by then-President Barack Obama, didn’t show signs of flames on the outside but needed to be evacuated for the potential dangers of the hazardous materials.
Chief Keith Powers said it began with one of the 20,000-pound batteries caught fire about 7:15 a.m. at the Waterworks Street facility. The initial attempts to put it out with dry chemicals and special fire extinguishers were unsuccessful. Hazmat units worked to move the other nearby batteries and keep them cooled to not exacerbate the situation while the fire steadily burned the affected battery.
“This fire continues to burn and it’s going to continue to burn for hours. It puts off some pretty dangerous gas,” Powers said, noting hydrogen fluoride. “… So we’ll be remaining on scene for an extended period of time.”
*Original full-text article online at: https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/crime/2023/04/25/hazmat-crews-contain-saft-battery-plant-fire-in-jacksonville/70151045007/