Two Young People Killed in E-Bike Fire in Queens
The bike's battery caught fire near the front door of an apartment building and quickly spread.
According to New York City fire department officials, two young men were killed by an ebike charging near their apartment in Queens' Astoria neighborhood. This was just the latest in a string of fatal blazes that e-bike batteries have caused.
According to fire officials, the fire began in the vestibule and quickly traveled up the stairs. It engulfed an apartment on the second level where a father and five children were living. Four of the four occupants managed to escape the fire by jumping out of the windows.
Fire officials didn't immediately release names and ages of those who died in the fire. The mother, who was also living in the apartment at the time, was not present at home.
Officials said that the intensity of the blaze sparked by the ebike's lithium-ion battery kept the family trapped in their apartment.
Officials stated that firefighters arrived on the scene within three minutes and were able to extinguish the flames without any casualties if there had been no e-bike fire.
Fire officials stated that the e-bike battery was being charged at the entrance of the building with an extension cord from an upper floor.
At a news conference, Dan Flynn, chief fire marshal, stated that he lost two people and was fortunate not to lose six. "This is still a huge problem for us.
Five people were killed by fires that started from lithium ion batteries, which power micro-mobility devices like e-bikes or e-scooters. According to fire officials, this is an increase from six deaths in 2022. According to fire officials, the batteries were identified in 59 fires this season, as opposed to 220 fires last.
Ahmed Zakiniaeiz (34), who lives across the street from the fire, said that Monday's flames spread and that he shouted at his family to jump. The air was stale and he could hear the screaming. According to Mr. Zakiniaeiz, he was able to see the flames through an open door and sweep the apartment floor to ceiling.
According to Mr. Zakiniaeiz, a young boy leapt into his arms. He said that two other young men, who were crying out for help, finally stopped screaming and vanished from the window. The boy Mr. Zakiniaeiz caught shouted "My brother, my sister!"
Teddy Alafosiannis, another neighbor, stated that he had captured three people, including the father.
Fire officials have warned repeatedly about the dangers associated with improperly charging and storing e-bikes. Recently, city officials adopted new restrictions.
"We are aware that people use e-bikes or similar micro-mobility devices and we ask users to adhere to all safety guidelines and recommendations of the manufacturer," Laura Kavanagh, Fire Commissioner, said in a statement.
Chief Flynn stated that officials believe Monday's e-bike fire was caused by an 'aftermarket charging device'. He stressed the importance to purchase compatible chargers for micro-mobility devices.