A failing rechargeable lithium battery is to blame for a garage fire in Broken Top Tuesday morning, according to Bend Fire & Rescue.
Crews responded to the fire at 19387 Rim Lake Court just after 4:45 a.m.
Battalion Chief Trish Connolly said the owner’s quick reaction to the fire and closing the door from the garage to the house prevented the fire from doing more damage than it did.
She said the fire caused about $40,000 in damage to the garage and two cars parked inside.
Connolly said it appears a rechargeable lithium battery failed and caused the fire.
Older lithium batteries need continual care in order to keep them in working condition, she said.
Similar batteries were found in the garage that were in a state of expanding and reacting.
Once a lithium battery makes it to this state it can catch fire on its own, Connolly said.
Newer lithium batteries are not as prone to these problems but still need care.
Always follow the maintenance and storage instructions for all lithium batteries closely. Many require regular charging and condition, even when not in use, to prevent failures.