Queens fire that killed 8-year-old caused by lithium-ion battery, FDNY says

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Monday, September 19, 2022
8-year-old girl dies after fire in Queens
An 8-year-old girl died and two other people suffered smoke inhalation after a fire damaged a home in Queens Saturday. Johny Fernandez has the story.

COLLEGE POINT, Queens (WABC) -- A fire that killed an 8-year-old girl in Queens on Saturday was caused by a lithium ion battery, FDNY says.

Flames broke out just after 7:30 a.m. on the top floor of the three-story brick row house on 130th Street in College Point.

"It was just a lot of smoke, and it started from the front, and then as the fire progressed to the back. I went into my backyard and saw a bunch of smoke coming out of the backyard," said Nicolas Felice.

Eyewitnesses say the smoke broke out just as the sun was rising which was a sight that caught neighbors off guard.

"I was so nervous, the first thing that came to my mind was to wake up my kids and bring them out," said Robert Sabalvaro.

Firefighters brought the flames under control just after 8:15 a.m.

Fire Marshals say the cause of the fire was accidental and caused from a lithium ion battery from an e-mobility device.

Felice lives next door, and he helped crews navigate the building so they could help the three people injured.

"I tried to get everyone out, try to evacuate for fire could do what they needed to do," said Felice.

Two men, an 18-year-old and a 35-year-old, also suffered smoke inhalation but were expected to survive.

"Everyone was just really worried about the little girl. The two males were responsive, the little girl wasn't," said Felice.

Crews navigated through the complicated building and reached the girl.

"They came down the fire escape, through my apartment. I saw them bring her out, she was unresponsive and she was just in the firefighter's hands," said Felice.

The 8-year-old girl suffered smoke inhalation and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

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