An exploding e-bike in New York caused “extraordinary damage” and multiple injuries to first responders and others. An entire building was completely destroyed in the fire in a Bronx supermarket on Sunday, said New York City Fire Department (NYFD).
The fire started in a back room and spread within minutes to the laundromat next door. NYFD said over 200 firefighters and paramedics attended the scene with 50 emergency vehicles.
Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said in a statement at the scene: “There is extraordinary damage. This entire building behind me is completely destroyed. The roof is caved in. There is nothing left. It’s all because of this one single e-bike.
“And so we really want to emphasise to the public how much damage can be done by a single e-bike that isn’t compliant, a single e-bike that might not be certified, that might be an illegal battery. This bike could be in your home. And if it can do this amount of damage to a store of this size, just think of the danger of that to yourself, to your family, to your building.”
Fire Chief John Hodgens told reporters at the scene: “The amount of fire that is produced by a single battery in just under five minutes, we were unable to get ahead of it. It had spread quickly into the void spaces of the building and took off from there… It’s really something that we have never seen before as far as a small fire turning into something like this in a matter of a few minutes.”