Smart car battery charger causes Florida house fire, says officials [Video]
A Smart car battery charger reportedly started a house fire on Monday night, according to officials. The blaze caused approximately $200,000 in damage to the owner’s house and garage, which is worth $500,000. The fire originated in the garage before traveling to the Estero, Florida home’s attic. Luckily, firefighters were able to stop the inferno before it spread to the rest of the three-bedroom home. No injuries were reported.
Florida fire officials concluded on Tuesday that the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive's battery charger caused the blaze. Spokeswoman Susan Lindenmuth stated that the vehicle was burnt so badly beyond recognition that officials could not identify its make or model. According to Lindenmuth, it was the first time her department had ever responded to a Smart car fire in her eight years working for Estero Fire Protection & Rescue.
Aside from the fire official’s investigation, the homeowner’s insurance company is also currently examining the fire. In particular, the insurance company is conducting tests to determine whether the fire was caused by the car itself or the battery charger.
Homeowner Lisa Schardein told a Southwest Florida NBC affiliate that her husband Richard had installed a new charger just one day prior to the incident. “It was the only thing that was different. It was such a small device. I remember seeing the box from RedEx,” said Schardein.