Failure of lithium battery-powered skateboard sparks SW Bend apartment fire, prompts safety warnings

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A fire sparked by the failure of a charging lithium battery-powered skateboard caused $35,000 damage to a southwest Bend apartment Thursday afternoon, but was stopped from spreading by the apartment’s sprinkler system, an official said.

Bend Fire & Rescue crews were dispatched around 4:25 p.m. to the fire alarm activation at the Stillwater Crossing Apartments on SW Atwood Drive, Deputy Fire Marshal Dan Derlacki said.

The alarm was quickly upgraded, he said, as several tenants called 911 to report alarms going off and smoke coming from a first-floor apartment. Derlacki said five engine crews and a ladder truck were sent, along with an ambulance and command staff.

Bend Police arrived to find most of the affected building had evacuated. Police and fire crews quickly determined no one was home at the time of the fire. The sprinkler activation triggered the initial fire alarm.

Fire official advises not leaving such devices plugged in to charge when no one’s around