Man Says Portable Battery Set Car on Fire

(KARK) CONWAY, Ark.- A Conway man came out of his office Wednesday night to discover his car had caught fire. 

He says the fire started from a portable battery used to charge electronic devices.

"It's a pretty toxic environment in there," says Jamie Gates, gesturing to his soot covered car. 

Gates says he didn't immediately recognize his car because the windows were darker than usual. 

"I was kind of greeted with a ball of smoke and I couldn't see inside so I quick shut the door," Gates recalls.

By that time, he says, the fire had already put itself out, but the charred interior led him to the conclusion that the portable power device was the cause of ignition.   

"It's pretty obvious when you look, you can see where the fire started and where it burned hottest, the longest," says Gates.

He says the battery was unplugged, turned off and just sitting on his passenger seat when it caught fire.

Gates tweeted at the company who manufactured the battery saying "@Brookstone your 6000 mAh slim battery set my car on fire this afternoon.  We probably need to talk."  They responded telling him to send information to their claims department.

Both Little Rock and Conway fire departments say this isn't something they see often. 

"It wasn't any sort of extreme environment," says Gates,  "which is part of what's alarming and I think people need to be aware of. "

There isn't currently a recall on the product but it is listed as out of stock on Brookstone's website as well as various other online retailers.

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