Electric vehicle erupts in flames, destroys Nocatee home

A resident in Nocatee, St. Johns County, is facing the aftermath of a fire that destroyed her home after an electric car loaned to her by Mercedes Benz caught fire. Jennifer Ruotolo had brought home a 2023 Mercedes Benz EQE350+ while her personal car was undergoing servicing. The incident occurred on Wednesday morning when the vehicle, parked in the garage, suddenly caught fire. Although Ruotolo’s husband heard a hissing sound and saw smoke, the car was not being charged at the time. The fire quickly spread and engulfed the garage, attic, and second floor, leading Ruotolo to believe that the house may need to be torn down. It is reported that Mercedes Benz has issued a recall for 2023 EQE350 models due to potential battery malfunction alerts. The St. Johns County Fire Marshal is currently investigating the cause of the fire. Ruotolo expressed her concern about the safety of electric vehicles, stating that she does not believe they are ready for the market. Despite the extensive damages to her home, Ruotolo considers herself fortunate that her family and their puppy survived the incident. News4JAX has reached out to Mercedes Benz corporate headquarters for comment, but has not received a response yet. The St. Johns County Fire Marshal suggests several measures to minimize fire risks associated with electric vehicles, including regular inspection for damages, using recommended charging equipment, avoiding overcharging the battery, storing the vehicle in well-ventilated areas away from flammable materials, and contacting emergency services instead of attempting to extinguish an electric car fire oneself.

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Reference: WJXT