After an electric vehicle burst into flames at a charging station this week, Harrisburg Fire Chief Brian Enterline spoke with CBS21 News’ Maxine Rose about the prevalence of these situations and how local fire response has changed because of it.

While using an EV charging station might seem more cost-efficient and convenient, the question many are asking is what happens when that investment catches fire?

Fire chief Brian Enterline said it’s important for all parties to be well-informed about how to respond.

“There’s some level of risk when driving an EV. There’s some level of risk riding a motorcycle without a helmet, as well,” said Fire Chief Brian Enterline.

But as tech evolves, Enterline said so does the response in the firefighting community.

“When we have an electric vehicle fire, as long as that vehicle is not endangering a building, we’re gonna leave it burning because the environmental impact to the thousands and thousands of gallons of water you got to put onto that fire just to suppress – you’re never going to put it completely out – it is a significant environmental hazard,” said Enterline.

Earlier this week, a Tesla in Upper Allen burst into flames at a Sheetz EV charging station. Fire crews worked to battle the flames and eventually doused the car’s battery with water.

READ MORE | Tesla bursts into flames at EV charging station in Upper Allen

Chief Enterline said it was lucky that no one was hurt and that the fire could mostly be contained, but it was an unlucky situation nonetheless.

“When we look at the number of cars out there, I don’t think they’re a danger to the public. I don’t think they’re a danger to the owners, the only way they become a danger is when they catch on fire,” said Enterline.

While the car was towed away, crews remained on the scene for any possible spills, runoffs, or possible re-ignition of the fire in the hopes of keeping an already hazardous situation from getting any worse.

“It’s just another mode of transportation and accidents are gonna happen, same way with a motorcycle, same way with a gas-powered car,” said Enterline.

Chief Enterline said there’s not always a reason why things like this happen and according to Upper Allen Township police, the situation is still being investigated.