CT’s public electric bus fleet pulled from operation after fire

The cause of the electric bus fire in Hamden is still under investigation.

HAMDEN, Conn. — CTtransit’s electric bus fleet has been removed from operation after one of them caught fire in Hamden on Saturday.

“CTtransit, in consultation with CTDOT, decided to remove the electric bus fleet from operation until a full investigation is completed,” said Josh Morgan, a spokesperson for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT).

Transportation officials said the bus was not in service at the time of the fire, which happened in the parking lot of the CTtransit bus depot on State Street.

Sign up for the FOX61 newsletter: Morning Forecast, Morning Headlines, Evening Headlines

According to the Hamden Fire Department, exposures were protected at the scene. Two CTtransit workers were transported as a precaution from exposure to the smoke and one firefighter was transported for heat exhaustion.

Fire officials also added that fires like this one involving lithium-ion batteries are difficult to extinguish due to the thermal chemical process that produces great heat and continually reignites.

RELATED: Dog dies after left inside hot car for 3 hours: Southington police

“The batteries hold a lot more electrical charge which then burn for a lot longer periods of time which obviously water itself is not going to extinguish it unless it’s a large amount of that water. All these electric buses and vehicles now that are on the roads, they pose a different challenge for us that the fire service in general, we’re looking at different ways to extinguish these fires as they definitely pose a larger challenge for us with copious amounts of water and engineering feats that we’re looking into,” said Asst. Fire Chief Jeffrey Naples of the Hamden Fire Department.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Electric CTtransit bus catches fire: Hamden firefighters

Data shows electric vehicle fires are rare.

Research by Auto Insurance EZ found 1,529 gas vehicle fires per 100,000 sales compared to 25 electric vehicle fires per 100,000 sales.

The electric bus fire in Hamden came one day after Gov. Ned Lamont and other state officials gathered Friday to highlight Connecticut’s Clean Air Act, which includes plans to expand the state’s electric bus fleet and also prohibits the procurement of diesel-powered buses after Jan. 1, 2024.

The cause of the electric bus fire in Hamden is still under investigation.

Angelo Bavaro is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at abavaro@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook other Twitter.

Have a story idea or something on your mind you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at newstips@fox61.com


Download the FOX61 News APP

iTunes: Click here to download

GooglePlay: Click here to download

Stream live on ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching FOX61.

SteamLive on FIRETV: Search ‘FOX61’ and click ‘Get’ to download.