You can buy an electric scooter. You can rent an electric scooter. And of course, you can pick one up off a crowded street. What you can’t do is escape the ridicule that comes with this extremely convenient mode of transportation — particularly not after they explode inside a tech company’s headquarters and cause people to evacuate.
The San Francisco Fire Department has confirmed to The Verge that Dropbox evacuated its SF headquarters at 333 Brannan Street yesterday after an electric scooter caught fire on the fifth floor of the building. The SFFD says it was able to extinguish the fire, and that no one got hurt.
My office was evacuated today because an electric scooter exploded and caught fire. Seriously living in an episode of Silicon Valley over here. pic.twitter.com/cX2iVvejtf— Davy Rudolph (@davyr) August 14, 2019
Based on a photo from Dropbox associate creative director Davy Rudolph, the scooter looks like a match for a fairly cheap ($250-ish) model known as the Tianrun R3 and also sold by RocketX, though it’s not clear which company its owner purchased it from. Cheap hoverboards have been known to occasionally explode in the past, typically because of issues when charging their large, combustible lithium-ion batteries, but we shouldn’t jump to conclusions.
In this case, it sounds like the excitement didn’t really take a big chunk out of the company’s day. Here’s Dropbox’s statement:
We experienced a small fire at 333 Brannan yesterday afternoon. It was quickly put out, no injuries have been reported, and everyone was able to evacuate safely. We’re thankful to the SFFD for their swift response.
Just another Wednesday in Silicon Valley*. Complete with cases of emergency La Croix, apparently!
everyone in tech jokes about how their lives feel like an ep of Silicon Valley but yesterday dropbox had to evacuate bc an electric scooter exploded in our office and it was “so hot” outside (80 degrees) that people were instacarting us emergency la croix— hilary (@yourgirlhils) August 15, 2019
If you think “schadenfreude” when you hear “scooter” — and why not? I actually like them and I still chuckle along — here are additional Verge stories you may want to browse.
*Yes, I know San Francisco isn’t technically in the valley, I’m from San Jose. I’m writing for a wider audience.
Update, 10:30 PM ET: Added a photo that suggests what kind of scooter caused the fire, if not necessarily which model or why it caught fire.