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23 e-scooters destroyed in Downtown fire

Vehicles ignited while being recharged, raising questions about battery safety

illustration of various people having fun on various vehicles
It’s all fun and games until 23 scooters explode
Getty Images/iStockphoto

A Chevy Silverado flatbed pulling a trailer loaded with 23 e-scooters ignited Friday night, resulting in a fire that damaged several of the electric vehicles and witnesses being directed indoors due to toxic emissions during the incident.

The Austin Fire Department said the scooters were plugged into two electrical generators, one of which overheated and sparked the fire. No one was injured in the fire, but witnesses reported being “ushered inside,” according to KVUE, “due to toxic air”—possibly from the scooters’s exploding batteries.

The television station reported that the trailer, generators, and 23 scooters were considered a total loss. A Sunday Austin American-Statesman story, however, reported that 15 to 18 of the scooters were damaged in the fire.

Kristie Gonzales, president and general manager of KVUE, tweeted about the fire Saturday, quoting the television station’s coverage and including a video of the event.

Instagrammer @ut_mish3al caught the fire in a video that has now been widely circulated.

According to a Sunday KXAN story, “The brand of scooters is unknown, but they were all the same kind.”