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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterAerial Photography and Video › Holy $hit!! Lipos..MY GARAGE CAUGHT FIRE!!!
05-10-2005 04:58 PM  14 years ago
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Dakine

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OC, Commifornia

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Holy $hit!! Lipos..MY GARAGE CAUGHT FIRE!!!
I was the luckiest son of a b#tch yesterday!

I was charging my eRaptor with 6S3P and the thing went into flames after 1/2 hour of charging.

I plugged my batteries (inside the bird) to the charger, made sure the charger read 6 cells. Made sure my smoke/fire detector is activated, then started the charger. Went into the house to have dinner with the wife. Half hour later I heard the smoke detector going off...BEEPING LOUDLY! Ran to the door to my garage, opened the door and HOLY $HIT!!! The helicopter was in flames......5 - 6 FEET OF FIRE! IT WAS TWO FEET AWAY FROM DA WIFE'S BMW! NO......THE CAR!!

I grabbed the fire extinguisher, pulled the pin and blew the $hit the flames.....whew fire is out! WHAT??? The flames came back to life! Blew it again...whew, flames out! WHAT, WHAT? The flames came back to life again! The freakin thing had 9 lives! I opened the garage door, picked the bird up by its tail and threw it out the driveway. The freakin flybar broke off and landed on my Logo 10 a foot away. It was so hot that the flybar welded itself the my Logo 10's tail (f#cked up this bird too!).

Grabbed the water hose and blew the $hit out of it. Whew, tons of white smoke but the fire is out. As I was turning off the water, WHAT, WHAT, WHAT???? WTF? The flames came back to life! Until, it burned itself to total destruction. The wife and son standing there with their jaws dropped as if they had seen a ghost watching a clown trying to put out the fire.

It could have been worse. I thank the man upstairs that my smoke/fire detector was in place and working. What I normally do is place a detector near by everytime I charge lipos.

The big mistake here was getting lazy and charging the packs in the bird. The bigger mistake was stupidly charging it 2 feet from the wife's car! Luckily both my camera ships were only 3 feet away and they were untouched by the flames. THE FLAMES WERE 5 - 6 FEET HIGH

I hadn't flown this bird for six months. It's a 6000mah pack. I flew it for 8 minutes which put it down to 2000 mah. I had peak it right before flight. My guess is a cell had puffed after the flight and I hadn't seen it since it was in the bird. Luckily I almost sold this bird and I would had felt very bad had this happened to the buyer. This bird only had approx. 6 flights on her, same with the packs. I'm going to ask the builder which cells he used. He's off this forum as well.

I am very anal with the charging of my packs. I only like to discharge (flying) my packs to 50% then land. Some call me silly. I like to be overly cautious. In this case I ran it down to 2000mah from 6000 mah which, should be fine by most standards. Now I know why I am overly cautious.

Just wanted to share this story with you to get another wake up call and be very careful with these lipos. Especially those of us which whom fly Jokers as camera ships.

See below to see the damages......

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05-10-2005 05:05 PM  14 years ago
gpyros

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On a beach in Mexico

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Wow, Tony! I'm just glad that nothing important was damaged! As in people, house, cars, etc.

GregP
Maxi-Joker helicam
Joker-CX helicam
Graupner Jet Ranger (elec)
Raptor-50
Logo-10
9CH
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05-10-2005 05:07 PM  14 years ago
ReadyHeli

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Jupiter, FL

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AWW MAN!

That SUX!

sorry to hear about your accident.

this is just another reason why we can NEVER be complacent with li-pos.

JG
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05-10-2005 05:09 PM  14 years ago
sharam

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Northern California - Fly at Morgan Hill Field

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Wow, you were lucky! Glad you saved your house and car!

I think sand is the best thing for a Lithium fire!
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05-10-2005 05:10 PM  14 years ago
Drunk Monk

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Preston, UK

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A warning to everyone who uses lipo's, you were very lucky.
Stephen

I only open my mouth to change feet.....
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05-10-2005 05:10 PM  14 years ago
tabbytabb

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seattle

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Wow, very scary Tony!

Glad you caught this in time and that the wifes car is OK! You would have been in the doghouse bigtime!


Very sorry to see this happen to you. Glad nobody was hurt.

Tabb
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05-10-2005 05:18 PM  14 years ago
lowandslow

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Spring Hill, TN

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Holy #@$% Forget about the stuff, I'm glad your family is ok! Gezzz, those round cells for AP are looking better every day.
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05-10-2005 05:24 PM  14 years ago
cwd10

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PA, - U.S.A.

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That's why I'm still on the IB3600's. Sorry for your loss. Could have been a lot worse.

Just curious, do you think your homeowners insurance will cover the damage? It looks like you went past the deductable.
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05-10-2005 05:25 PM  14 years ago
frebou

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Montreal / Canada

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Thanks for sharing your experience!

This confirm that all the procedure I do when I charge those batteries are not useless. I'll continue to charge them OUT of the bird and in a super safe place.

How can the blade holder did not melt?!
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05-10-2005 05:26 PM  14 years ago
DOKEY

rrProfessor

Northamptonshire UK

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OMG

I think that sort of accident would put me off lipo's for quite some time
Ryan.
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05-10-2005 05:27 PM  14 years ago
AndyH

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Rockledge, FL

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Tony,
I think it's time to start charging those LiPo's in a Ammo can!!
WOW!

That fire reduced that Rappy into a puddle of plastic!!

Thank god for that fire alarm!!!

Glad to here your wife's car is ok and that everybody's ok!! SHEESH!!
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05-10-2005 05:31 PM  14 years ago
aambrose

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Pana, IL

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Wow Tony! Glad to hear no one was hurt and the damage was kept to a minimum! Lipos scare me! Nice description of the story though. I felt like I was there! Shouldve tossed those weights from the calf press on the bird and smash the flames out! .......maybe not a good idea.
Tony
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05-10-2005 05:32 PM  14 years ago
SolarXtreme

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Arroyo Grande, CA

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We call the lipo's WidowMaker's. You don't get all that energy in a small package without being extremly dangerous. Sorry about your loss that Rappy looks dead.
.
I picked a hell of a day to quit drinking

Avant EFX
Freya EVO
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05-10-2005 05:33 PM  14 years ago
wilson

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Orange County, California

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Dakine

I think the ones (Raptor) that was spair, they were good little heli in their past life so the Heli God spair them

If that was me, wife would have clean my clock and took away my toys. Good that nothing major was damage.

Take care
Wilson
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05-10-2005 05:39 PM  14 years ago
lt1pwr

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Douglasville, GA

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💎Sustaining Member
Tony, thank god you and your family are fine. This is just terrible what happened to your equipment. Do you think your homeowners insurance can help you recover some of the loss?

Take care,

Jay Gariepy
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05-10-2005 05:41 PM  14 years ago
classic

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All over the place!

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Glad to hear noone was hurt!!
What brand of lipos were those?
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05-10-2005 05:43 PM  14 years ago
groundeffect

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Canada

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wow...............
Glad to hear you/your family/house etc... are all ok!


thank you for sharing this with us.

cheers,
Dean
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05-10-2005 05:44 PM  14 years ago
electro212

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Lancaster Pa

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DAMM
could have been much worse

what packs were you using and what was the charge rate ??
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05-10-2005 05:47 PM  14 years ago
Leif

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USA

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Lessons learned?

1. Remove the batteries from the model and charge them in a safe container.

2. Don't leave your batteries charging unattended.

Metal fires pose many hazards, and what is not often communicated well in these incidents is that you can't extinguish these fires using the normal fire-fighting tools.

The US Navy has developed a special version of Class D extinguisher which contains a copper compound additive specifically for Lithium battery fires.

In the meantime, here's a nice quotation on an additional issue:
If battery contents burn, a caustic smoke, containing lithium oxide will form. Avoid skin contact and inhalation. Wear full protective clothing including a helmet; a positive pressure, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA); a bunker coat and pants; a face mask; and a protective covering for exposed areas of the head.
How much of the smoke did you inhale?

Leif
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05-10-2005 06:05 PM  14 years ago
fitenfyr

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Port Orchard, Washington

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Glad to hear you got it out ok...

Leif is correct that you CANNOT extinguish a metal based fire like Lithium with any of your average household extinguishers.

BEST thing to put out a metal fire with is SAND and lots of it.
Remove the flaming mass to a safe area and dump a ton of sand on it.
Also a CO2 extinguisher will help you knock down the flames and cool the packs enough to remove it to the outside if needed.
Just dump the whole extinguisher onto the thing then pick it up with some gloves. Move it outside and cover it with sand.

The only reason it went out is the exhaustion of fuel I bet.
You have to remove one of two things with metal fires to get them to go out.
1. Oxygen (hence the sand)
2. fuel (the lithium burns out)

Cooling them will not stop the chemical reaction that caused the fire.

If you go looking for a extinguisher you want to look for one that says Class D fires or METAL-X (brand name).
Plan on having to go to an extinguisher shop or fire protection place to get one though although some high caliber auto parts houses that cater to racers may have them also.
Jason Stiffey
Fly Fast....Live Slow...
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