An electrical bicycle powered by a lithium ion battery is being blamed for a deadly hearth on Monday in New York Metropolis that killed two youngsters, marking the most recent in a string of e-bike-related fires within the metropolis.
FDNY Chief of Division John Hodgens mentioned it took his firefighters solely three minutes to reach on the Astoria, Queens residence. Nonetheless, with the fast-moving nature of e-bike fires and the actual fact the bike was being charged close to the entrance entrance of the multi-family constructing, the victims “didn’t have an opportunity to get out of the constructing” given the extraordinary hearth that shortly traveled up the steps to a second-floor condo.
“So we acquired right here in a short time. And if this was not a motorbike hearth, probably we’d have been in a position to put this fireplace out with out incident. However the way in which these fires happen, it’s like an explosion of fireside,” he advised reporters outdoors the burned residence. “It’s an ongoing downside. We implore all people to please be very cautious and conscious of the hazard of those units.”
With Monday’s hearth, there have been 5 fire-related deaths to date this yr in New York Metropolis the place officers have mentioned the reason for the blaze was an e-bike. Thus far, there have been 59 e-bike-related fires this yr. Final yr there have been six e-bike-related fatalities.
Fireplace division officers mentioned a father and his 5 youngsters have been contained in the second-story condo simply earlier than 2 p.m. when the hearth occurred. The daddy and three of his youngsters have been in a position to bounce from a window to security. The mom was not at residence on the time of the hearth.
Hodgens mentioned it seems an extension twine was working from the higher condo right down to what hearth officers imagine was an after-market charger for the bike, which was parked within the vestibule of the constructing. Hodgens mentioned whereas the bike was being charged on this case, there have been different fires involving bikes not being charged on the time.
Electrical bikes have turn into fashionable, non-gasoline-burning methods to make deliveries, commute and zip round a metropolis that has promoted biking in current a long time.
New York Metropolis Fireplace Commissioner Laura Kavanagh urged residents to observe all producer security tips and suggestions for e-bikes.
“We’re additionally calling on our federal, state and native companions to maneuver shortly on rules that may assist guarantee tragedies like as we speak’s hearth are prevented,” she mentioned in a press release. “We’re heartbroken for the household of those victims.”