Scooter lithium battery investigated as cause of 5-alarm Bronx fire, FDNY says



At least seven people have been injured in a five-alarm fire in the Bronx neighborhood of New York City that is believed to have been caused by a lithium-ion battery, according to fire officials.

A civilian and an emergency services worker were seriously injured, and five firefighters suffered minor injuries, the New York Fire Department told CNN on Sunday.

About 200 firefighters are battling the blaze, which started on the rear roof of a single-level commercial building at Grand Concourse and 181st Street, according to the New York Police Department.

FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh told reporters at the scene Sunday that the cause of the fire was a lithium-ion battery that powered a scooter.

“In all these fires, this lithium-ion fire, it’s not a slow burn, there’s not a little fire, it literally explodes,” Kavanagh said. “It’s a huge amount of fire as soon as it happens, and it’s very difficult to put out and that’s why it’s particularly dangerous.”

Kavanagh said firefighters arrived at the blaze around 10:41 a.m., four minutes after the first call. All seven people injured in the fire are believed to be stable, he said.

“Today we could not cause any loss of life, but there has been extraordinary damage. This whole building behind me is completely destroyed,” Kavanagh said. “The roof has collapsed, there’s nothing left, and it’s all because of this one single bicycle.”

The Commissioner said that further investigation is required as to why the bike caught fire. He said it might be using an illegal battery.

The scooter was parked in the back of a grocery store. Officials said that it is not yet known who is in possession of the bike.

fire department Tweeted the video of the fire wake up The footage appears to have been taken from a security camera and shows someone responding to the fire and moving the scooter before the flames spread.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams told Sunday’s news conference: “Our real push is to inform the public that something that looks normal and fun can be very dangerous and take the lives of innocent people. There’s a real problem with what we’re doing in the city.”

“A simple battery-powered scooter like that, people going to their homes, they’re leaving their places of business, they’re going to their restaurants, they’d park it in most places,” Adams added. are where they really shouldn’t be parked in.”

“The video is cool, when you see how quickly this fire started and spread, it’s really going to give you pause,” Adams said. He advised people to use only legal lithium-ion batteries and not to keep lithium-ion battery devices indoors.

Fire officials said the fire was mostly out but “pockets of fire” remained. Firefighters will remain on site overnight to ensure the fire does not spread.

On Friday, Kavanagh said more than 400 fires have been caused by lithium-ion batteries in New York City in the past four years.

In an opinion piece for a local website, Kavanagh said: “These fires start quickly, grow quickly, have little time to escape, consume everything in their path, and are very difficult to extinguish.”

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