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Two firefighters killed and one missing after Beijing battery blaze

Beijing Fire Station is investigating the cause of a fire at a lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) battery which claimed the lives of two firefighters at a shopping mall in the Chinese capital on Friday.

The city fire station said it received reports of a fire at the Jimei Home Dahongmen store at 12:17 p.m. and dispatched 235 firefighters with 47 fire trucks from 15 fire stations.

The 25 MWhdc battery facility, developed by Beijing Gotion Full-Service Co Ltd and commissioned in March 2019, featured northern and southern sections and the fire station said, while dealing with the blaze at the southern section of the battery, at 14:15 p.m., an explosion occurred in the north section, killing two firefighters and wounding a third. Another fire station staff member was described as missing.

The battery was part of a system which also featured 1.4 MW of solar generation capacity on the roof of the shopping mall and 94 electric vehicle (EV) parking places with associated charging points. At the time of its commissioning, Beijing Gotion Full-Service described the system as the world’s largest user-facing energy storage system; the biggest EV charging station in Beijing city center; the first project to combine PV, storage and EV charging; and the first regional, direct-current, incremental-grid set-up.

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Beijing Fire Station said the blaze was extinguished at 23:40 p.m. on Friday and cooling treatment was then carried out.

Hefei-based, Shenzhen-listed battery company Gotion High-tech – the controlling shareholder of Beijing Gotion Full-Service – on Saturday expressed “deep sorrow for the firemen who died in the accident,” to local media, and said it did not participate in the daily operation and management of the battery developer.

Gotion High-tech is ranked among China’s five biggest battery suppliers and in 2019 shipped 3.2 GWh of products, to claim 5.2% of the market.

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Source: pv magazine