A pickup truck fire and explosion outside the Maine governor’s mansion last week was traced to a faulty battery in a cordless drill, officials said.
The unoccupied truck was parked on Chamberlain Street, just feet from the white fence surrounding the Blaine House, when smoke began pouring from the vehicle, followed by flames and a blast on Thursday.
The incident caused some concern because of proximity to the governor’s residence. Democratic Gov. Janet Mills was working at her Statehouse office at the time.
No one was injured.
Fire marshal investigators blamed the fire on a lithium-ion battery attached to a cordless drill in the back of the truck, said Shannon Moss, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety.
The batteries are used in everything from electric vehicles and bicycles to cellphones and computers. While rare, lithium-ion battery fires can be caused by a mechanical defect or being left in hot areas or direct sunlight, Moss said.
In New York, Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said last week that the lithium-ion batteries have caused more than 70 fires this year.