Lithium battery sparks fire at Burlington airport

Published: Nov. 19, 2019 at 5:11 PM EST
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A fire caused by a lithium battery shut down part of Airport Drive in South Burlington Tuesday afternoon.

The fire started at the Beta Technologies building at the airport.

The battery on fire was quickly put into a safety container that was a part of an emergency plan put in place when the company started.

Beta Technologies rents a part of the maintenance building at the airport. The company explores battery-powered aircraft.

South Burlington Fire Chief Terry Francis says crews had to protect themselves from the air while fighting the fire.

"We the fire department has been working with Beta Technologies since they are dealing with cutting-edge, lithium battery materials. They had a catastrophic failure. We are not exactly sure how yet," Francis said.

The fire department says that when lithium batteries burn they keep generating heat and extra water was needed to put out the fire.