A new video obtained by CNBC gives us a first look at the fire that engulfed a set of Ford F-150 Lightnings in a Dearborn, Michigan, holding lot earlier this year. This heavily edited version of the video shows police arriving on the scene as smoke billows from a group of electric trucks tucked in the back of the lot.
“Let’s hope it doesn’t blow up,” one police officer says during the video. “The smoke is clear as day.” In February, Ford suspended production the production of and recalled some of its Ford F-150 Lightnings after one of the vehicles caught fire while charging and spread to two neighboring trucks. Ford eventually traced the cause of the fire to a “rare” issue affecting the vehicle’s battery, which is made by South Korean supplier SK On.
In addition to obtaining bodycam and dashcam footage from Michigan police officers, CNBC also got images of the aftermath of the fire through a separate FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request. These photos show just how devasting the blaze really was, with flames leaving one truck just a shell of what it was before — its doors completely incinerated and a tire halfway melted into the ground. Another photo shows how the flames ate through a truck’s quarter panel, exposing the wiring beneath.
It’s still not clear how long the blaze went on, but the timestamps on CNBC’s footage suggest it at least lasted between 3:36PM and 4:22PM ET. Electric vehicle fires are notoriously difficult to put out, with an expert telling CNBC that they often burn hotter, faster, and need more water to put out.
“Together with SK On, we confirmed the root causes and swiftly implemented quality actions,” Ford tells CNBC. “The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center has been back up and running since March 13 and is back to full production and shipping vehicles to customers.” Ford didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment.