VIDEO: Tesla catches fire twice after crashing into building

Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 1:11 PM CST
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PHOENIX (KNXV) – Police said they don’t know why a Tesla slammed into a building in Arizona on Friday, catching fire not once, but twice.

Witnesses said a teen was trying to park the car before crashing.

Alexandra Toepel shared cell phone video showing the fiery accident in Scottsdale.

“It went up in flames in about 30 seconds,” she said. “I got out of my car, and I helped the mom take her daughter from the driver’s seat, and she was bleeding quite a bit and everything, but we moved her from the car to the ground.”

The two got the teen driver, who suffered some burns, away from the flames.

“I was just so thankful I could be there at that moment,” Toepel said. “The mom didn’t have her cell phone to call anybody or anything like that, so it was a really scary moment.”

Not long after that scary moment ended, another one began nearby as the same Tesla burst into flames a second time while on the back of a tow truck.

The car was then lowered to the street.

Robert Vidaca, another tow truck driver, rushed over to help.

“I seen it from a distance and … my heart dropped for [the truck driver] because I know it’s … definitely a scary situation to be in, especially in the middle of an intersection,” he said.

Vidaca said the fire started as a little flame, so they tried to put it out.

“I hopped off my truck, off my tow truck … and I tried to help them out with my fire extinguisher, and nothing,” he said. “Within a couple of minutes, we noticed that the flames were just getting out of control.”

The Scottsdale Fire Department said electric car fires take longer to put out compared to traditional car fires. They also require multiple agencies and Hazmat crews because of the potential hazards to the community.

Several businesses nearby were evacuated as a precaution, and the tow truck driver was taken to the hospital.

“And he just looked like he was just completely covered in smoke,” Vidaca said. “But … he was walking around. He was fine. He was very appreciative of me stopping by and helping him out with the whole situation and everything.”

The exact cause of both fires is still under investigation.