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Rosemont public safety officials deploy new blanket to help extinguish electric vehicle fire

Rosemont public safety officials used a recently purchased special weighted blanket to help extinguish an electric vehicle fire in the parking garage at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago mall Thursday morning.

Public safety personnel were called to the garage on the 5200 block of Fashion Outlets Way at about 9:20 a.m.

First responders encountered an electric vehicle on fire and requested a hazardous material response team to the scene, Sgt. Joseph Balogh said.

Public safety officers also covered the vehicle with a special weighted blanket recently purchased by the village to help in case of electric vehicle fires because it take so long to extinguish lithium battery fires. Balogh said it took four public safety officers to cover the car with the blanket because of the device’s heft.

Balogh said the fire didn’t cause any damage to any other vehicles or the structure.

A hazmat team found no evidence of toxins released by the fire in the garage or inside the mall, he added.

Balogh said a tow truck moved the electric vehicle from inside the garage to an outdoor parking lot once the fire was contained. It took nearly five hours before the fire was completely extinguished and able to be towed away.

Balogh did not know the make and model of the electric vehicle. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

As electric vehicles have become more prevalent on Illinois roads, local fire agencies have begun investing in special equipment to extinguish lithium battery fires. Such devices can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

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