April 17 2019

Firefighters Knock Down Solar Panel Fire on Roof of Hillcrest Road Home

By: Rich Hosford


The Burlington Fire Department responded to a fire of some solar panels on a residential home and were able to quickly knock down the blaze before it spread to the home.


Captain Robert Paul said the call came in at around 12:11 p.m. on Wednesday for a fire on the roof of a Hillcrest Road home. He said fortunately a driver of a trash truck that was collecting bags of yard waste noticed the fire on the roof's solar panels and notified the owner who called 9-1-1.


“I’m glad it was during the day and not at night because otherwise it might not have been spotted,” he said.


Firefighters raced to the scene and found the solar panels on the front of the house ablaze. Captain Paul said it was a quick knockdown and firefighters were able to contain the fire to the panels.


“There was no extension into the house,” he said. “It was pretty much an easy knockdown and all the inspectors arrived to make sure everything was safe.”


Captain Paul said he could say if the fire was caused by a malfunction of the solar panels without having someone from the company that manufactures them do an inspection. However, he did say it was possible that squirrels nesting in the panels may have played a role. At the very least, as they were working the scene they saw a nest and two adult squirrels moving baby squirrels off the roof and into a nearby tree.


“I can’t rule out a squirrel chewing on a wire,” he said.


Photo courtesy the Burlington Fire Department


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