MATTHEWS, N.C. — Shocking home security video shows a flash of light and a few sparks which ultimately led to a house fire in Matthews.
Now, that homeowner is combing through what’s left of his belongings. He says the source of the fire was a lithium polymer battery that exploded while it was charging.
“It’s just unbelievable,” Mark Thompson said. “That’s my life’s savings. It’s my house.”
Thompson called the home a “complete loss.” He blames the lithium battery he uses to power his drone.
“That lithium battery exploded,” Thompson said.
The video doesn’t show the actual explosion, but it does show a flash of light, a few sparks and the ensuing fire engulfing his living room.
Thompson estimates he’s charged the battery 50 times, without ever having a problem.
“In fact, I’ve never even had one feel warm to the touch,” Thompson said.
He says he never leaves the lithium batteries charging while he’s not home, but this time he forgot. He left to go to his girlfriend’s house just 20 minutes before his house caught fire.
“Had I stayed, instead of going with her to her house on Friday, I probably wouldn’t be here,” Thompson said.
We’ve seen similar testimonies across the country. Lithium batteries have caused explosions and fires in everyday items from cell phones to vape pens. Usually, it’s the result of battery damage, short circuits, or overheating.
“I would be very cautious leaving any battery that’s lithium charging,” Thompson said. “If you’re leaving it unattended or you’re asleep in the house, I would not do it.”
Thompson says his initial insurance claim was denied, but he hopes that the decision will be reversed.
In the meantime, his neighbors have set up a GoFundMe page to help with short term costs.