Charging e-bikes caused Brooklyn apartment fire that led to 2 people being rescued, FDNY confirms

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Friday, September 9, 2022
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E-Bike fire breaks out in Brooklyn

CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Charging lithium ion batteries on e-bikes are what sparked a fire at a Brooklyn apartment building, FDNY Fire Marshals confirmed.

The fire happened Saturday just before 10:30 a.m. at NYCHA's Albany Houses in the Crown Heights section.

Firefighters working on a report of people trapped in an apartment forced their way in and were met with dense smoke.

"Ten feet into the apartment, we saw two e-bikes on fire," firefighter Tyrell Frazier said.

Frazier proceeded to a back bedroom, where he found two people, an 18-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man, who weren't able to get themselves out.

Frazier and fellow firefighter Thomas Butler got the two people out of the apartment.

One of them was listed in critical condition, while the other reportedly suffered a life-threatening injury.

Firefighters were able to contain the flames to just that apartment.

Fires caused by charging lithium ion-batteries have been on the rise as electric bikes and scooters have become more popular.

The FDNY released the following tips for using these types of batteries:

- Purchase and use devices that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory.

- Follow the manufacturer's instructions for charging and storage.

- Do not charge a device under your pillow, on your bed, or a couch.

- Always use the manufacturer's cord and power adapter made specifically for the device.

- Keep batteries/devices at room temperature. Do not place in direct sunlight.

- Store batteries away from anything flammable.

- If a battery overheats or you notice an odor, change in shape/color, leaking, or odd noises from a device discontinue use immediately. If safe to do so, move the device away from anything that can catch fire and call 9-1-1.

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