• Apr 15, 2011
Chevrolet Volt garage fire – Click above to watch video after the jump

No one was hurt – but two plug-in vehicles were destroyed – in a fire in a home in the Connecticut town of Barkhamsted last night. The cars were a brand-new 2011 Chevrolet Volt with just 2,000 miles on the odometer and a converted all-electric Suzuki Samurai that the homeowner, Storm Connors, converted himself years ago. At this early stage, it is impossible to tell if one or the other vehicles was the cause of the blaze – or if it was one of the charging systems or the garage's electrical system – but firemen who responded to the 911 call said that this is one angle that the investigators will look in to. Local news channel WTNH reports that Connors, "likes his cars too much to think having them charging in the garage started the fire." Another news channel, WFSB, says that, "fire officials suspect an electric hybrid car may have sparked" the blaze.

You can watch a video news report of the aftermath after the jump. Interestingly, Connors himself has commented on AutoblogGreen stories in the past, so our thoughts go out to a reader who is dealing with a terrible loss. Hat tip to Pete!


UPDATE: Official statement from GM's, Doug Parks, Global Electric Vehicle Executive, is available on ChevroletVoltage.com. Check it out here.

[Sources: WFSB, WTNH]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 61 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thankfully no one was injured.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This had to be caused either by the house owners stupidity or carelessness. The Chevy Volt is a solid vehicle all around. I don't know about some of you guys but have you seen the quality procedures and engineering videos that GM released before the launch of the Volt to insure that it would not have massive quality and pose safety hazards? This is def not due to the Volt.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Must be Top Gear preparing for a redux of the Hammerhead Eagle i-Thrust.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder how much carbon that fire belched into the atmosphere? Probably enough that they coulda had a V8! ;-)
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yah and not to mention all of the diesel/gasoline burned by aaaallllll those emergency vehicles!!!

        Electric vehicles are just SSSOOOOOOO much better than ICE
        • 3 Years Ago
        hahaha

        Comment of the month award. Well done sir.

      • 3 Years Ago
      And you thought electric vehicles had 0 emissions.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm gonna go with it being the wiring in the garage and the EV+EREV only caused the problem by creating a large power draw.

      Even though the Samurai would be suspect, he's probably had it for a while, so any major electrical faults it had probably should have shown themselves before.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Let's see: I'm sitting at a desk, I've never attempted to build an electric car, never mind attempted to perform a conversion myself, I don't know anything about the Suzuki, the modiification made, the skills of the owner, the condition of the electrical system in the garage. But I'm still going to leave a comment after this article saying that it must be the fault of the homebuilt vehicle, if it's not the homebuilt one, then it was the Volt, then if not, the electrical system in the garage.
      How useless are 99% of these comments peole leave. Doesn't anyone have anything educated to say - ever? I guess this is the "General Public" commenting.
      Sorry for the rant, first time I posted after reading for years. These comments just keep getting more and more moronic. We have no info other than a story that says "A fire" and lists two vehicles that were in the garage. And idiots who will argue why thier opinion, yes that right, their opionion, is the correct one.
      Just read the article and move on.
      Oh no, I'm getting older and have just became - one of those people.......Crap!
      C-Ya.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Thanks for clearing that up for us.
      • 3 Years Ago
      i think a guy that build his own EV, might have a small understanding of basic physics and knew how much load he could put on his lines.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oooh. Ouch!!! That stinks. I hope recovering from that isn't too painful. Looks like a very bad day.
      • 3 Years Ago
      First, a home-built electric/hybrid car has to be suspected. Considering the complexity of such cars, one has to question the quality and safety of the design, compenents, and assembly.

      Second, if the house was old and had old wiring, it could be that the cars drew more electricity than the wiring in the garage was designed to handle. You have to assume that charging a Volt draws more than 60W bulbs, electric hedge trimmers, or batteries for cordless garden equipment.
        • 3 Years Ago
        But if that's the case, the circuit should have been fused for an appropriate level. I wonder if he did some "home modification" of his wiring to let his EVs charge on a circuit with conductor that wasn't large enough for the load.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's fortunate nobody was hurt in this. I'm glad for that.

      Now back to the snark. So which DO you think it was? The product of years of tireless work by hundreds of designers and engineers, or the overglorified golf cart slapped together by some yob from Connecticut?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yes, OEM engineers spend thousands of hours testing, to make sure things like electrical fires, tire blowout rollovers, airbag malfunctions, and unintended accelerations NEVER occur on production vehicles ;)
        • 3 Years Ago
        @RJ
        Unintended acceleration happen with oversize floor mats and driver error, not manufactor's ECU programs... Just an FYI.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Probably the amateur electrician not getting the dual 240V chargers properly apportioned and fused.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Or the most likely possibility, the wiring of the garage?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ditto on the wiring! The Volt is likely solid with all the engineering that went into it. The Suzuki has be used for some time now without any problems. The only new element is them charging together on a single circuit. (Im guessing obviously)
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