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Fire from burning e-bike hampers rescues at NYC blaze

4 people were injured, 1 critically during the 2-alarm fire in Brooklyn

By Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — A Brooklyn man was clinging to life Thursday after a fire ripped through his home — and an exploding e-bike battery is being eyed as the possible cause, FDNY officials said.

The fire broke out on Avenue M near Ocean Parkway in Midwood at about 7 a.m., FDNY officials said.

A 30-year-old man pulled out of the blaze was rushed by medics to Staten Island University Hospital North in critical condition.

Three other men who suffered smoke inhalation are expected to recover.

The fire was put out within 45 minutes, FDNY officials said. More than 100 firefighters and EMS personnel were called in to put out the blaze and treat the injured.

The raging blaze destroyed two second-floor apartments and two storefronts.

“[There were] two apartments involved and two stores involved on the first floor,” FDNY Assistant Chief Brian Gorman said. “The extent of the damage is significant. They had fire from front to rear. Everything is pretty much ruined.”

An e-bike was found at the foot of the stairs leading to the second floor, but it was not immediately clear if it sparked the blaze.

The fire from the burning bike did hamper rescue efforts, Chief Gorman said.

“There was an e-bike involved,” Gorman explained. “We will determine if it was involved or the cause, but it was in the hallway, which led to a problem with victims being evacuated.”

FDNY Fire Marshal Daniel Flynn said the e-bike was found in the “area of origin” of the fire.

“The fire is still under investigation,” he added.

As of Monday, lithium-ion batteries have sparked 107 fires in the city that led to 46 injuries and one death. At the same time last year, e-bike and scooter batteries caused 114 fires with 78 injuries and 13 deaths, FDNY officials said.

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