Fire Burns Home in Rancho Sequoia Last Night

Burning structureAt approximately 12:13 a.m., a call came into emergency dispatch that a structure was burning in the Rancho Sequoia area southwest of Alderpoint. According to Cal Fire, a two bedroom mobile home caught on fire–reportedly when batteries ignited in a solar room.

Chief Brian Anderson of Redway Fire reports that the structure was completely engulfed in flames when the first engines arrived. The flames had begun spreading to the surrounding wildland. A 20 by 100 foot area burned.

According to Cal Fire Duty Chief Kurt McCray, difficult access delayed suppression of the fire. The structure was completely lost.

Three CAL FIRE engines, two Alderpoint engines and one water tender from Redway responded and worked through the night mopping up.

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10 comments

  • Batteries igniting in a “solar room?” I hope there is more on this story, as there could be a lesson in this for neophyte off-grid folks. Will there be a follow-up, Kym? (And good health to you.)

  • Hey solar folks

    Hmmm is that what happens when you forget to keep your batteries watered?

    • When you don’t “water” your batteries they go through a process called sulfation and are weaken, they don’t catch fire.

      • Schoolmakesmesmart

        Actually they can, but its usually an explosion not catching fire. They actually naturally sulfate all time(why we equalize once a month) its when you don’t have water or low water they oxidize and if you have a lot of incoming power(generator usually) they heat up. Then combined that with low melting point of lead which will then arc combined with the naturally occurring hydrogen sulfide gas from the charging process you get an explosion. Also could of been to a loose terminal connection that could of been arcing out. This is why you always maintenance your system monthly!

      • Except, that the system will keep trying to charge batteries that won’t take a charge; overloading components, which, if they aren’t properly set up with safety devices, can overheat.

        • I was doing a trouble shooting/repair job at a ranch house that was powered by among other things a hydro putting out 1500 watts continuously into a bank of batteries. As soon as the owner into the shop I could feel the heat coming off the batteries across the room. Someone had disabled the device that regulated the charge to the batteries and they were cooked. Tops were cracked, they bulged, but they didn’t catch fire or blow up. They were going through water as the constant charging broke it down to an explosive mix of hydrogen and oxygen. The shop was in a very old and drafty building so the mix didn’t build up in it or things could have gotten exciting if something set it off.

  • Glad no one was hurt no matter how it started.

  • I’ve had D batteries on a shelf catch fire by themselves. Luckily I was there to see it.

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