Tesla catches fire at dealership in Fort Lauderdale

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Fort Lauderdale firefighters have extinguished the flames after a Tesla caught on fire Monday morning at a dealership, officials confirmed.

According to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Executive Officer Garrett Pingol, firefighters responded to the Tesla dealership at 2731 N. Federal Highway just after 6:30 a.m. in regards to one vehicle that had erupted in flames.

“We heard a little bit of a boom, and came outside to see what it was and saw a big fire outside and we’re like, ‘What the heck is going on?’” witness Kassandra Mitchell told Local 10 News.

Firefighters arrived to find heavy flames coming from one Tesla and spreading to an adjacent one.

“Big, big fire, like really, really tall. A lot of smoke, dark black, and then all the firetrucks started to show up. It was pretty amazing,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell works at a restaurant next door, and says the flames could be seen shooting several feet into the air.

“It looked like it was a big, big bonfire,” she said. “Like something, kind of like the Aggies -- you know how the Aggies have the big, big bonfire? It was really, really tall.”

Pingol said crews quickly extinguished the fire.

According to Pingol, the Tesla that initially caught fire suffered heavy damage while the adjacent Tesla only suffered body damage.

“I thought a lot of cars were going to be on fire. Luckily, only two,” Mitchell said.

Crews remained at the scene after the fire was extinguished to cool the battery pack of the car that caught on fire.

According to Pingol, the initial vehicle that erupted in flames was there for service and is not a new vehicle owned by the dealership.

It was parked in the dealership’s front lot when the fire occurred.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

“To me, I was like, ‘how the heck did a car that’s parked blow up with nobody around?’” Mitchell wondered. “So it was pretty surreal.”

About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.