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Tesla reignites at tow yard after fire at auto shop

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A Tesla Model S vehicle that caught fire at an auto shop in Los Gatos on Tuesday afternoon reignited after the original fire was extinguished, Santa Clara County fire officials said.

The vehicle had been towed to the parking lot of a business in the 500 block of University Avenue at about 2 p.m. Tuesday after the owner got a flat tire on state Highway 17, according to Fire Capt. Bill Murphy.

It was sitting in the parking lot for about 10 minutes when a witness heard a loud noise, smelled smoke and found the car was on fire, Murphy said.

Firefighters arrived and quickly contained the flames to the front portion of the car in the hood area, according to Murphy. The flames did not reach the auto shop and firefighters remained on scene to cool the car’s batteries for about six hours.

The car was then taken to a tow yard, where it reignited shortly after 10 p.m. Fire officials said they returned to the vehicle and monitored the scene with Tesla’s support.

No firefighters or civilians were injured, and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation. Fire officials were still at the scene of the fire as of 7 a.m. today.

Tesla said in a statement that fires in its vehicles are 10 times less likely than gasoline vehicles, and fires spread much more slowly throughout the vehicle when they do occur.

Tesla said in a statement Wednesday morning:

“We are currently investigating the matter and are in touch with local first responders. … We are glad to hear that everyone is safe.”

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