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In a bizarre set of circumstances, a Tesla in Pennsylvania was found burning. It took firefighters three hours to put out the blaze. To make things even stranger, no one is quite sure how the EV caught on fire. Add to those facts some witness commentary, and this Tesla fire sure is head-scratching.

The burned remains of a Tesla.
A Tesla caught on fire in Pennsylvania | Gladwyne Fire Department

There’s currently no word on how the Tesla caught on fire

A Tesla is engulfed in flames.
A Tesla caught on fire in Pennsylvania | Gladwyne Fire Department

On Tuesday, June 29, 2021, the Gladwyne Fire Department in Haverford, Pennsylvania received a phone call that a Tesla had caught fire. They did what fire departments do, and they rushed to the scene. Thankfully the fire department had training in how to put out a Tesla fire (it’s different from a regular car fire). They were able to get the fire under control – in about three hours. 

Cars catch on fire all the time – okay, not all the time, but it’s not uncommon for a car to catch on fire after something like a car accident or a tossed cigarette or match. What’s strange about this Tesla fire is that no one knows just how it started. The Gladwyne Fire Department released the following statement after the fire: 

“Gladwyne Firefighters responding to the 100 block of Rose Lane last night just before 9pm to assist Station 25 (Merion Fire Company of Ardmore) with a vehicle fire. While enroute to the call Chief 25 was advised that the reports were that a Tesla was on fire and it was well involved in fire. Engine 24 with a crew of 7 arrived on scene simultaneously with Engine 25. Due to prior training classes on Tesla vehicle fire emergencies, Engine 24 laid a 5 inch supply line into the scene so that we could keep a continual water stream on the fire to extinguish the fire and cool the batteries down to ensure complete extinguishment. Engine 24 and Engine 25 both deployed hand lines to extinguish the fire, each maintained a dedicated water source and continued to cool the vehicle down for almost 90 minutes.”

Firefighters were on scene for just over 3 hours dealing with this emergency. Nobody was hurt in the incident and both crews worked hard in the high heat/humidity to mitigate the incident.

Witnesses say the Tesla was alone before it caught fire

The burned remains of a Tesla.
A Tesla caught on fire in Pennsylvania | Gladwyne Fire Department

One person who claimed to be an EMT that worked the fire posted on Reddit after the event:

“I am an EMT and last night around 9:30 we got called to do rehab for firefighters extinguishing a car fire in Lower Merion, PA. I only have the information I got from firefighters on scene but apparently the call came in from one of the residents of the neighborhood who saw it rolling down the road on fire before exploding in front of their house.”

Obviously Reddit users had a whole bunch of questions for the EMT, so they gave an update:

“The caller claimed that the car was driving up hill without a passenger while ablaze but this cannot be conclusively proven due to a lack of video evidence and the fact that all of the internals that would prove it are currently worth their weight in scrap. The police aren’t releasing any more info on that subject for now…”

None of the rumors are verified, so right now the entire thing is a mystery

Two firefighters put out a Tesla fire.
A Tesla caught on fire in Pennsylvania | Gladwyne Fire Department

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There’s been no confirmation of whether the Tesla was driving when it caught fire. There’s no other information either, other than the fact that it basically burned to the ground. The identity of the EMT isn’t even confirmed. And although Tesla fans have speculated that the Tesla involved in the fire was the newly-released Model S Plaid, that hasn’t been confirmed, either.

Until there’s more information, we’ll just have to wonder if there was a Tesla in a Pennsylvania neighborhood out for a fiery autonomous Sunday drive.