Drone Battery Reportedly Starts Sturtevant Fire

STURTEVANT — An exploding lithium battery from a recharging drone reportedly caused a house fire here Sunday afternoon.

A pet cat may have perished in the quickly extinguished blaze.

The fire at 3422 92nd St. was reported at 3:27 p.m. by Rajelio Ramirez, a next-door neighbor. The woman who lived there with her boyfriend came running over to Ramirez’s house and said the house was burning, Ramirez said. He called 911.

The woman told Ramirez, he said, that her boyfriend had been using a drone earlier in the day and was recharging it when the lithium battery exploded and started the fire. South Shore Fire Department did not immediately assign an official cause for the fire, saying it was under investigation, but not considered to be suspicious.

The blaze shattered the front picture window before the fire department arrived at 3:32 p.m. Firefighters were putting water on the fire within a minute of arrival and had the fire knocked down about another minute later, said Battalion Chief Steve Salvo.

Both residents had left the house before firefighters arrived and reported no injuries.

Afterward, while firefighters were still at the scene, the pet cat had not made it out. “We’re still looking for it,” Salvo said, but he said the one-story house had been filled with smoke top to bottom.

Damage to the house, which was under renovation when the fire occurred, was estimated at $50,000. [Click for More]