E-bike causes fire in the Bronx leaving 1 dead, 9 injured

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, December 4, 2023
E-bike may be to blame in deadly Bronx fire
Toni Yates reports on a deadly fire in the Bronx where an e-bike was found at the scene.

SOUNDVIEW, Bronx (WABC) -- Officials have confirmed that an e-bike caused the Bronx fire that killed one person and left nine others injured.

The flames erupted inside a 10th-floor apartment at the Bronx River Houses in Soundview just after 7 p.m. Sunday.

The 39-year-old victim, Hiriam Borrero-Echevarria, died less than an hour after he became trapped in his apartment by flames.

A lithium-ion battery from a bike left near his door is believed to be the cause.

"I did see them carry somebody out, I didn't see who it was, but I think he was unconscious," a neighbor said of the victim.

Three women -- ages 23, 25 and 62 -- who live next to the apartment that caught fire were rushed to Jacobi Hospital with various injuries. They are all expected to survive.

Six others were treated at the scene. All of the injuries are said to be minor.

The FDNY's investigation deemed the lithium-ion battery in the e-bike found at the scene was the cause of the fire.

The fatal fire happened three weeks after a fire blamed on a lithium ion battery killed three members of a Brooklyn family.

The FDNY has reported 253 fires, 133 injuries and 18 deaths so far this year related to the highly flammable lithium-ion batteries.

New York City has seen hundreds of fires linked to the batteries that power electric bikes and scooters in recent years. City officials have blamed off-market batteries and chargers for many of the fires and they have lobbied the federal government to strengthen regulations governing the sale of e-bikes and batteries.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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