The FDNY said that an e-bike battery started the fire in a Washington Heights apartment where two people died and two others were seriously hurt.
Sunday afternoon, a fire broke out on the fourth floor of an apartment building in Manhattan near 190th Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue. Firefighters had to break a window to get four unconscious people out of the building. NBC New York has learned that two of these people later died from their injuries.
“It moved quickly and caused a lot of damage. Two of those people have died since then, which is very sad. “Two people are still in very bad shape, and we’re still praying for them today,” said FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh.
The tweet below confirms the news:
Lithium-ion battery sparked Manhattan fire that killed 2 https://t.co/Wf7P10vbPo
— Julie (@juliawb) May 9, 2023
One of the victims was a 98-year-old woman named Mamita, according to a resident of the house. Three guys who lived in the same apartment as her caretaker were taken to the hospital. The names of the two people who died from their injuries have not been made public.
After the fire was put out, fire officials went through the building to figure out where the fire started.
“A lithium-ion battery started the fire. “A number of lithium-ion batteries were found all over the apartment,” Kavanagh said.
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The Risk of Lithium-ion Batteries Keeps Getting Worse
In New York City, the risk of lithium-ion batteries keeps getting worse. The FDNY said that lithium-ion batteries caused 76 fires, 60 injuries, and seven deaths in 2023 alone.
A recent study by the I-Team and Telemundo 47 Investiga showed what a lithium-ion battery fire looks like and how fast it can spread. In an effort to stop these fires from spreading, the fire department put out a public service announcement (PSA) Tuesday to tell New Yorkers about the possible risks.
“These fires pose a huge risk. They make a lot of fire quickly and pose serious risks,” Kavanagh said, sending a message to people who have the same kind of batteries at home:
“Go and get it. Look at it. Is it broken? Don’t use it if it’s broken. “Don’t plug it in when you’re not there,” Kavanagh said. “Move it right away if it’s in front of an exit or a window. Look for certification and know if your battery is controlled or not.”
The commissioner also said that it’s important to talk to your friends about safety plans.
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