BY BRADEN CARTWRIGHT
Daily Post Staff Writer
A lithium battery has malfunctioned and caught on fire at Google’s offices in Mountain View, firefighters said.
The battery was sitting in a cardboard box on an office chair, Mountain View Fire Department spokesman Robert Maitland said.
Alarms and sprinklers went off on Monday at 11:37 a.m., and 25 employees self-evacuated the building at 2011 Stierlin Court, Maitland said.
Firefighters took the charred remains of an office chair outside of the computer lab and turned off the sprinklers, Maitland said.
Crews then used salvage techniques to remove water and smoke from the affected office space without damaging sensitive electronic equipment, Maitland said.
When a cell in a lithium-ion battery fails, it can cause the battery to heat itself uncontrollably, called “thermal runaway.”
It can take as much as 8,000 gallons of water flooded over many hours to put out a battery fire, Maitland said. Firefighters call the technique “surround and drown.”
This is the second fire at Google this month. A 20-foot-by-20-foot area of oversized pallets burned at 2190 Crittenden Lane on Jan. 9 just after midnight.
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