Electric vehicle charging malfunction sparked Ashburn fire that caused over $15K in damages

A garage fire Monday in Ashburn, Virginia, that caused more than $15,000 in damage started because of an electric vehicle charging malfunction, the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Fire Marshal’s Office said Thursday.

Authorities said firefighters responded to a 911 call for smoke visible from a garage around 12:30 p.m. Monday in the 44000 block of Mossy Brook Square.



When they got to the scene, firefighters found the homeowner outside. A search confirmed everyone had escaped, and the fire was quickly extinguished.

The Fire Marshal’s Office investigation found the fire to be accidental and that it originated in the charging system while the electric vehicle was being charged.

Damages are estimated to be $15,400. One person was displaced and will stay with family.

Charging electric vehicles have sparked multiple fires in recent weeks.

A fire in Damascus, Maryland, on April 1 started with an electric car charging in a garage, displaced four people, a few pets and caused $350,000 in damages.

On April 5, three people were displaced in Bethesda, Maryland, after a scooter overheated during charging and started a fire in an apartment, according to authorities.

The Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System has the following safety tips to prevent similar fires:

  • Always keep batteries, charging cords and charging devices clear of combustible materials.
  • Monitor any battery or device that is being charged during the entire charging cycle.
  • Stop using batteries immediately if you notice an odd odor, change in color or shape, excessive heat, leaks, or odd noises. If it is safe to do so, move the device away from anything that can catch fire or outside the home and call 911.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and only use the battery and charging cord that is designed for the device.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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