In the early hours of Tuesday morning, tragedy struck a bustling street near Chinatown when a fire erupted at an e-bike service store. Four lives were lost, while two others remain in critical condition. The cause of the fire? Lithium-ion batteries, which have become a growing concern in New York City due to their link to several fatal blazes.
At around midnight, a three-alarm fire broke out at the e-bike repair shop on Madison Street, engulfing the business and spreading through the building. Despite the valiant efforts of approximately 140 firefighters and emergency personnel, the blaze claimed the lives of four individuals and left two others fighting for their lives. The fire commissioner, Laura Kavanagh, confirmed that the fire was accidental and caused by a lithium-ion battery.
Lithium-ion batteries have become a common power source for various devices, including e-bikes, phones, laptops, and power tools. However, their flammability has become a growing concern as the usage of electric vehicles, especially e-bikes and scooters, has surged in New York City. Commissioner Kavanagh revealed that these batteries have been responsible for 108 fires and 13 deaths so far this year alone. In 2022, approximately 200 fires were linked to lithium-ion batteries.