Another Treasure Coast electric car fire

Published: Aug. 9, 2016 at 9:35 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 9, 2016 at 9:59 PM EDT
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A Palm City couple's garage was destroyed last August after they say their white Ford C-Max Energi electric car sparked a fire.

"I thought the house was going to burn down," said Daniel Tortora.

The Martin County Fire Department said investigators believe the car charger caught fire and flames spread through the garage.

"I went like an idiot, opened the garage door and saw the charge cord on fire," explained Tortora.

"The whole kitchen was filled with black smoke," added his wife Lenora Turrisi.

But Ford doesn't see it that way.

In an e-mail, a Ford spokesman sent the following statement:

"Following an engineering inspection last year, it was determined that neither the Ford product or Ford charging equipment provided was the cause of this incident. We notified the customer of this last year."

But the couple watched reports on NewsChannel 5 about another electric car fire in Port St Lucie on SE West Snow Road over the weekend.

"That's the first thing. I said, 'that's not the first time that happened,' " said Daniel.

Early Saturday morning a Ford C-Max was plugged into the wall when firefighters say the fire sparked somewhere between the car batteries and the outlet. Flames spread to the garage and the family's boat.

Neighbors shared cell phone pictures of the frightening sight. The family made it out in time.

So did Daniel and Lenora last August.

"Very happy we got out and nothing exploded," said Lenora.

But they're still dealing with the damage. A year later, the garage is almost done but there's still work to do in the kitchen.

"It's a hassle," said Lenora. "It's frustrating."

As for the same electric car, they still have it.

"I drive it but I do not plug it in," added Lenora.

There's nine months left on the lease.

"I will be X-ing the days off on this calendar to get rid of this car and I will not be buying another Ford," concluded Lenora, who says she's been trying to get out of her lease early.

Since the Ford C-Max Energi debuted in 2013, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports no complaints or investigations into any fires.

To report a complaint, call the Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

Scripps Only Content 2016