Solar panels change the nature of fires regardless of if they are installed or in transit to be installed. They contain hazardous substances that release carcinogens when burned.  Carcinogens are known to be capable of causing cancer and other health problems to those exposed. Make Solar Safe prioritizes educating consumers on hazards involving solar panels.  

Forklift unloading solar panels in Polk County catches fire, does $2 million in damage

By Chip Skambis

BARTOW, Fla. – A forklift in use to unload and install solar panels in Polk County caught fire Sunday morning, causing an estimated $2 million in damages, firefighters said. 

The diesel forklift caught fire around 7 a.m. off of Bonnie Mine Road just outside of Bartow. The fire spread quickly to the solar panels, firefighters said. 

Because solar panels contain chemicals that emit carcinogens when burned, firefighters were fully packed out, using copious amounts of water to put it out. 

Extinguishing the fire took more than four hours, firefighters said. 

The firefighters then underwent a full decontamination to ensure they were not exposed to carcinogens. 

Firefighters have not yet determined the cause of the fire. 

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