NYC Residents Suffer Burns from E-Bike Battery Explosions
In New York City over the span of a day, malfunctioning lithium-ion batteries have led e-bikes to catch fire, leaving a dozen people injured. Last year, four people died due to similar fires.
Thomas Tracy, New York Daily News
(TNS) — A dozen people were injured in four separate fires across the city sparked by lithium-ion e-bike batteries in a 24-hour span, FDNY officials said Friday.
The blazes, which broke out in Chelsea, Inwood, East Harlem and Kensington, are a continuation of a troubling trend of malfunctioning lithium-ion batteries used to power electric bicycles. The phenomenon was responsible for four deaths last year, the department said.
The first fire took place on the third floor of a nine-story apartment building on W. 23rd St. near Seventh Ave. in Chelsea when an e-bike battery exploded into flames, leaving the bike a scorched ruin. A resident of the building suffered smoke inhalation during the 7 a.m. fire.
Nearly 10 hours later, at about 4:30 p.m. firefighters were called to the corner of E. 125th St. and Park Ave. in East Harlem, where an e-bike caught fire. The blaze extended to a vehicle parked nearby, FDNY officials said. No injuries were reported.
The largest e-bike blaze took place in Brooklyn just after 4 a.m. Thursday when an e-bike battery sparked a three-alarm fire that gutted an E. 9th St. home near Cortelyou Road in Kensington as well as the rear of a neighboring building, FDNY officials said. More than 100 firefighters put out the blaze and treated seven patients at the scene. It took about two hours to bring the fire under control.
Residents said the home was being used to store e-bikes and e-scooters.
The last e-bike blaze in the 24-hour span happened at 6:30 a.m. Thursday when a lithium-ion battery attached to an e-bike exploded on the fifth floor of a sixth-story building on Fort Washington Ave. in Washington Heights. Four people suffered minor injuries and were taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital and Harlem Hospital for treatment. The e-bike was reduced to a melted ruin, cops said.