Fire tears through Phoenix business that repairs Lithium batteries for electric vehicles

- Firefighters in North Phoenix had to battle a raging fire that tore through a business late Friday afternoon.

According to Jake Van Hook with Phoenix Fire, the fire involves a manufacturing building that produces a batteries and motors for electric vehicles, and crews were called out just before 5:00 p.m., where they found the fire in the back of the building, with workers on-site having self-evacuated.

The three-alarm fire sent a big plume of thick black smoke into the sky, and it didn't take long before flames gutted the building. As crews arrived at the scene, the roof was already collapsing, but by that point, all of the employees were out.

Firefighters said a representative for the business advised crews that large stores of lithium were in the building, which presents a significant hazard when water is applied to burning Lithium.

"Lithium is volatile when it;s burning," said Van Hook. "When water is applied, it can put off toxic gases. Our crews took a defensive position, and it was a good thing they did."

A worker, according to fire officials, has suffered throat irritation from the fire. Fire officials have yet to say the exact cause of the fire.

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This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 10 Phoenix on social media, online, and on-air for further updates.

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