FAKE NEWS: A Tesla did NOT burn down a Sydney home last night

Overnight stories began emerging from news outlets like Daily Mail and News.com.au regarding a house fire in Prestons, Sydney overnight. Both articles featured little factual details about the fires but were both quick to point the blame at a Tesla in the garage as the source of the fire.

NSW Fire and Rescue attended the event, so I reached out to their media team to clarify important details like, was a Tesla or any EV charging equipment involved and was it reasonable to point to this as the source of the blaze.

Here is the response from the Office of the Commissioner, Fire and Rescue NSW.

I have just spoken to our investigator who is on site and can confirm no electrical vehicle was in the garage nor was charging unit involved.

Superintendent Adam Dewberry, Operational Media Liaison, Office of the Commissioner | Fire and Rescue NSW

This response clarifies what should have been in both of these news stories, which is that no EV was in the garage and no EV charger was involved. It’s hard to understand how they could get this story so wrong, other than to join some dots that don’t exist, to create an emotive headline that would drive traffic.

With the growth of electric vehicle sales in Australia, I believe it is important to be factual when covering events like these to maintain public confidence that these are indeed safe. 

The video in the Daily Mail article features shots from the scene of the fire, as well as an interview from a firefighter who detailed actual facts like there was a fire in the garage, there were two cars were parked in the garage, but at no time did he confirm either of the vehicles were a Tesla.

The author of the article states ‘The fire is understood to have been started by a Tesla, which was charging in the family’s garage.’ which appears to be speculation as it is not found in the interview. 

Typically with fires in EVs internationally, we often see there is thermal runaway once a fire has started in a battery pack, which results in large volumes of water needing to be applied over the course of many hours as the hundreds of cells catch alight. The interview states that they were able to stop the fire from spreading to the house, although a cat did pass away in the interview and smoke damage was caused to the property.

So please share this important clarification around this incident as this story is being shared as fact when indeed it is not. Also, I’d suggest the Editors of these news organisations need to do a better job, my email took 10 minutes to write, and less than an hour later I had a response to clarify what actually occurred.

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwrighthttp://techau.com.au/author/jason/
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

3 COMMENTS

  1. Wow. Talk about sloppy journalism or a deliberate attempt at creating Tesla FUD. You would think they had, at the very least, confirmed that there was a Tesla in the garage before publishing this. But no even that was faked. This should be a story about an ICE car (yet again) catching on fire. I’m calling this one out as deliberate FUD since the article also follows up with other unrelated and unsubstantiated FUD about Tesla autopilot.

    • It’s a constant anti EV barrage of fake news at the moment! It won’t change any time soon as the editors are only after making news rather than reporting the truth

  2. We are witness to the coming elections and the Great Dumbing of our country. Well done Jason for exposing this egregious FUD. Newspapers should be sued for this crap.

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