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FDNY: Lithium-ion battery fire fatalities in 2023 will likely surpass last 2 years combined

Fires involving e-bikes and similar devices in NYC have killed 9 people this year, compared to 10 in 2022, 2021 combined


New York City Fire Department/Facebook

By Bill Carey
FireRescue1 Staff

NEW YORK — The FDNY reports that lithium-ion battery fires have caused nine deaths to date, nearing the number in 2022 and 2021 combined.

E-bikes and similar devices have caused 92 fires and injured 64 people so far this year. Last year, six people were killed and 142 hurt in 220 battery-related fires, the New York Post reported.

Four people died on May 7 in a fire in an Upper Manhattan apartment building. In April, a 7-year-old and a teenager died in a Queens house fire sparked by the battery on an e-bike. People were forced to jump from windows to escape the fire.

In 2021, four persons died and 79 were injured in 104 lithium-ion battery fires in residential structures.

Councilman Robert Holden has introduced legislation to ban electric scooters and bikes until safeguards are in place.

“The reckless rush to legalize e-mobility devices without regulation has unleashed a terrifying wave of fires, injuries, and tragic deaths,” Holden said. “It’s heartbreaking to witness the consequences of the previous City Council’s ill-advised actions as these incidents become more and more common.”

City landlords were required to post an FDNY safety guide by April 30 warning apartment dwellers about fires caused by e-bike batteries.