Cantonment House Fire Caused By Charging Lithium-Ion Batteries; Fire Department Warns Of Battery Dangers

September 5, 2023

A residential fire in Cantonment on Labor Day Monday was sparked by lithium-ion batteries, the third such fire in two weeks in Escambia County. That prompted the fire department to warn residents of the dangers from charging batteries.

Firefighters responded to the 300 block of Homeland Avenue about 9:30 a.m. They arrived to find a garage fire that had extended to a nearby car. The home suffered heavy damage, but can be reoccupied with extensive repairs, according to Escambia County Fire Rescue. There were no injuries.

ECFR determined the cause of the fire to be lithium-ion batteries charging in the garage. This was the third fire in Escambia County in two weeks caused by lithium-ion batteries.

Two previous house fires were sparked by lithium-ion push mower batteries that were charging in garages, ECFR said.

“While battery-powered equipment such as vehicles, lawn mowers and bikes are good for the environment and reducing emissions, we want our citizens to know the dangers associated with lithium-ion batteries,” said ECFR Deputy Fire Chief Paul Williams. “These devices and equipment, when charged in your home, can pose dangers and should be monitored closely. Fires resulting from lithium-ion batteries intensify significantly and quickly, leaving little time for people to react.”

The National Fire Protection Association offers the following tips to prevent fires from lithium-ion batteries:

  • Purchase and use devices listed by a qualified testing laboratory
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Only use the battery designed for the device
  • Put batteries in the device the right way
  • Only use the charging cord that came with the device
  • Do not charge a device under your pillow, on your bed or on a couch
  • Do not keep charging the device or device battery after it is fully charged
  • Keep batteries at room temperature when possible. Do not charge them at temperatures below 32°F (0°C) or above 105°F (40°C)
  • Store batteries away from anything that can catch fire
  • Stop using the battery if you notice an odor, change in color, too much heat, change in shape, leaking or odd noises. If it is safe to do so, move the device away from anything that can catch fire and call 911.

Additionally, residents are urged not to put lithium-ion batteries in the trash. Batteries are considered household hazardous waste and can be brought to the Perdido Landfill year-round for proper disposal at no charge to Escambia County residents.

Photos by Kristi Barbour and others for, click to enlarge.


11 Responses to “Cantonment House Fire Caused By Charging Lithium-Ion Batteries; Fire Department Warns Of Battery Dangers”

  1. nikki on September 8th, 2023 9:00 am

    So sad. This was my fathers childhood home. Loved this house so much. :(

  2. Wayne on September 6th, 2023 10:15 am

    We had a vaping battery start sparking in our house. It was brand new. Had just been charged. Not kidding.

  3. tg on September 6th, 2023 9:08 am

    This EV push is not working out Mr Biden.

  4. TB on September 6th, 2023 8:48 am

    There are a lot of these batteries built overseas that are not incorporating safety features in them, do your research.
    3rd party testing and certification organizations should be a watchword when purchasing these products Ex: UL, CE, TUV etc.
    When in doubt, charge these outside and away from structures, keep an eye on them, if they do start to ignite remove the power first from as far away as you can (Breaker panel) be safe.

  5. CW on September 6th, 2023 6:36 am

    Lithium ion batteries are happiest around 50% charged. They don’t like being fully depleted, or fully charged. The worst thing you can do is leave one on a charger all the time. Try to keep them in the 20-80% range.

    They also don’t like being hot, so keeping them in a garage during the summer is not good. This is why EVs have battery cooling that uses the car’s a/c.

  6. Unknown on September 6th, 2023 12:15 am

    I was one of the firefighters on the scene. We are deeply saddened for the residents of this home but are happy that all family members were safe. However, advise that all individuals with lithium batteries be very careful with those batteries.

  7. T on September 5th, 2023 8:52 pm

    Environmentally safe? I saw a documentary about where the minerals are mined by people, even small children in African countries, barely clothed and no shoes or breathing equipment. This operation in Africa is controlled by China. The politicians keep pushing the lie that this is green. What they mean is it is more green in their bank accounts. They don’t give a damn about the environment or people.

  8. Steve on September 5th, 2023 4:01 pm

    WELL WELLL WELL….. There are a lot of those batteries in nearly every home..
    I have 5 20 volt drill batteries. That I keep charged for work. THEN I have a battery jump box that just last week I noticed it was swollen from the battery about to pop. I took it outside and forgot about it and hit it with mower.. The battery caught fire.

  9. Autismmom on September 5th, 2023 2:44 pm

    Ion-Lithium batteries being good for the environment to proving to be an oxymoron.

  10. Melissa Pendergrass on September 5th, 2023 2:34 pm

    Does this apply to the batteries for the kids ride ons? Those are lithium ion batteries, correct?

  11. Anne on September 5th, 2023 1:18 pm

    Wondering how long it’ll be before Homeowner Insurance Companies stop writing policies for homes with attached garages having the EV Car Chargers?
    Also, if those insurance companies want to know where and how many battery chargers are used in homes?
    The things are so very handy, no expensive batteries to buy, yet so risky at the same time.