Fire investigators in New York said e-bike batteries caused a deadly fire in the East Village area of New York City leaving two teens clinging to a pole in an attempt to escape the flames.
According to a CBS New York news report, a man was killed in the fire and the teens’ mother was said to be in critical condition. A 13-year-old boy and 18-year-old girl used a pole outside the building to get to safety after the fire broke out in their fourth-floor apartment the morning of Dec. 16.
Fatal E-Bike Explosion and Fire
The following day fire officials announced that the blaze was sparked by lithium-ion batteries from an e-bike. They said these batteries, when they are damaged or overcharged, release hydrogen gas and explode violently. There were seven e-bikes in the apartment.
So far, just in 2021, there have been 93 fires in New York City caused by lithium batteries, according to FDNY, reflecting 49 more of those fires in 2021 compared to the previous year. Fire officials are calling it “a dangerous, new trend.”
They say the intensity of this particular fire was so much that it blew the windows out and even blew a wall down within the apartment on top of the bed in which the teens were sleeping. The FDNY is reminding residents that e-bikes should not be charged overnight or near an exit door bedroom. However, the charging should be done in a well-ventilated area, if possible, outside.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family that has suffered this tremendous loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Product Liability Issues
Lithium-ion batteries have been a source of concern involving a number of products including cell phones, laptops, and e-cigarettes, which are all powered by them. A number of these products have even been banned on airplanes because they pose the danger of exploding or catching on fire.
These products have also caused significant injuries such as burns, broken bones, facial injuries, and internal trauma. In some cases, they have resulted in deaths or fatal fires that have claimed lives and disfigured people.
Product manufacturers have a responsibility to make items that are safe for consumers. When they fail to do so, they can be held responsible for the injuries caused by these dangerous and defective products. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
An experienced product defect lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.