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4 dead, 2 critical after fire in NYC e-bike shop

FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief John Sarrocco said firefighters found heavy fire in the e-bike shop on the ground floor of the six-story building



By Rocco Parascandola, Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — Four people were killed and two were left clinging to life after a fire erupted in an e-bike repair shop in Manhattan’s Chinatown early Tuesday, authorities said.

The blaze broke out about 12:15 a.m. in HQ E-Bike Repair, a shop on the ground floor of a six-story apartment building on Madison St. near Catherine St.

Fire and smoke soon spread to the apartments above.

“We arrived in just about four minutes,” said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief John Sarrocco. “We found heavy fire in an e-bike store...Units made an interior attack and put that fire out.”

Fires caused by e-bike batteries have become a crisis in the city, with seven people killed this year prior to Tuesday’s blaze.

[RELATED: Lithium-ion battery fires: A ‘relevant, recent and important’ challenge for firefighters]

Two women and two men were killed and two women were hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday, authorities said. A seventh victim suffered minor injuries. All the victims are believed to be older adults.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries.

Scores of residents above the repair shop escaped or were rescued.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear. A pile of smoldering e-bikes lay in the street behind police tape as authorities investigated the blaze.

Last month, a 94-year-old woman and her son died from injuries suffered in a fast-moving e-bike fire in the family’s Washington Heights apartment.

The deaths of Bertha Domenech Santiago and her son, Luis, marked the sixth and seventh fatalities caused by the ignition of lithium-ion batteries — used for electric bikes, scooters and hoverboards — surpassing the number of fire deaths from 2022, according to the FDNY.

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