Family with baby rescued from Brooklyn apartment fire sparked by lithium-ion battery

It's the third separate fire that lithium-ion batteries were found at the scene within 48-hour span

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
Family with baby rescued from fire sparked by lithium-ion battery
Josh Einiger has details on the Brooklyn fire.

MIDWOOD, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A lithium-ion battery was found inside an apartment in Brooklyn where a fire started Tuesday night, making it the third fire in New York City within a 48-hour period in which a lithium-ion battery was found at the scene.

FDNY hazardous materials experts wheeled out some dangerous cargo, carrying the battery of an electric bike which sparked a sudden and dangerous fire in a fourth-floor apartment in Midwood.

One neighbor told Eyewitness News reporter Josh Einiger that she heard someone shouting and realized her hallway was thick with smoke.

"He said, 'oh my god, it's a fire on the floor,' we closed the door because the smoke and everything was already in our apartment," Yevegeniya Dneprova said.

Firefighters rushed to the scene on Ocean Parkway and managed to rescue the family in the apartment, including a baby, but not before the apartment was heavily damaged.

"This is becoming a large issue for the department trying to get the message out, be careful when charging them or use approved batteries," said FDNY Battalion Chief Brian Gomoka said.

Improperly charged, or aftermarket lithium-ion batteries have become the bane of firefighters' existence. As much as the FDNY tries to spread the word about the dangers, the fires keep sparking. This was the third in just 48 hours in New York City.

Several lithium-ion batteries were found at the scene of a massive and deadly fire in the Fordham Heights section of the Bronx Monday night.

The fire started just before 9:30 p.m. at one home on Bainbridge Avenue before spreading to two adjacent buildings.

When firefighters got into the collapsed portion of one of the homes, they found a 57-year-old man dead inside.

Earlier that day, a fire broke out before 6 a.m. at an apartment building located at 2612 Broadway on the Upper West Side.

A lithium-ion battery was found on the fourth floor.

Three people were injured in the fire, and two remain hospitalized in "serious condition," according to FDNY officials.

"These fires are incredibly intense, and water does not extinguish them, so it makes it very difficult to put them out," Gomoka said.

Fortunately in Brooklyn, the door to the apartment was kept closed during the whole ordeal, so the fire stayed contained.

Only that apartment was impacted, and fire investigators say there were no serious injuries.


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