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Fifth Fatal E-Bike Battery Fire in 2023

Two siblings were killed in a tragic e-bike battery fire on Monday in Astoria, Queens. According to the Daily News, a 7-year-old boy and his 19-year-old sister became trapped in a second-story apartment on 46th St. near 28th Ave. after an e-bike caught fire in the building. 

Authorities reported that the fire originated in the home’s vestibule, where the e-bike was charging. The battery reportedly burst into flames, blocking the exit of the residence and trapping the two victims. Also in the building were the victim’s father, twin boys, and another 7-year-old girl; the children’s mother was not home at the time of the fire. 

FDNY members reported that had the flames not been fueled by a lithium-ion battery, they could have put the fire out without incident. It took 25 units and 106 firefighters to extinguish the fire. This is the 59th fire caused by lithium-ion batteries in New York City. In 2022, there were 220 fires in total, 6 of which were fatal. 

Why do e-bikes catch fire? 

HDFC ERGO highlights three main reasons why e-bikes are catching fire: 

  1. Combustible Fluids: Lithium-ion batteries are composed of highly combustible fluids that can explode or catch fire when they heat up. 
  2. Faulty Parts: Faulty parts (engines, chargers, etc.) can cause sparks that lead to fires. This can happen if riders purchase discounts or used batteries that were not made for their model vehicles. 
  3. Excessive Heat: Most e-bike battery fires begin due to overheating. Bikes kept in the sun or in conditions where they can overheat are more prone to fires. 

Image Credit: Daily News from (https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-house-fire-fatalities-astoria-fdny-20230410-s36ivpfrqrfnbcrontnjwh64fe-story.html)

Pazer Epstein Jaffe Fein & Gozenput, P.C. NYC Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys

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