E-Bike Lithium-ion Battery Sparks Fire in Bronx, Leaving Residents Out in the Cold

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Three families were displaced early Saturday morning on January 8 when a fire reached the roof of a four-story building located in the Bronx. FDNY Fire Marshals determined the fire was caused by a charging lithium-ion battery from an e-bike or electric scooter that burst into flames in a restaurant on the ground floor of the building. The fire occurred at 2230 Grand Concourse just after 2 am.

More than 150 firefighters and EMS members rushed to the scene and were able to get the fire under control shortly after 5 am. One firefighter was injured and sent to the hospital.

Multiple electric bicycles were discovered on the first floor where restaurant delivery workers store their e-bikes overnight. More than 100 fires were caused by e-bikes in 2021, resulting in 79 injuries and four deaths, according to the FDNY.

Saturday’s fire spread from the ground floor vertically through voids in the building, went up through the structure’s internal framework, and made its way to apartments on the top floor where the blaze caused fire, smoke, and water damage, according to a spokesperson.
Fire officials warn that when batteries are damaged or overcharged, they release hydrogen gas and explode violently. Ideally, batteries should be charged outside and in an unoccupied space.

Sources: NBC, ABC, Daily News