MORRIS HEIGHTS, The Bronx (PIX11) — A fifth-floor apartment in the Bronx caught fire Sunday after an e-scooter exploded, fire officials said.
Sheina Duffy was about to go to sleep when she heard her neighbor hollering for everyone to get out.
“It must’ve caught fire. Then he came out banging on everybody’s doors. My neighbor had to take the dog and pass it to somebody else to get my mother and nephew out,” said Duffy. “He ran. He ran all the way down the stairs and up the block. I had to find him.”
Dozens of firefighters worked to put out the flames. In the end, the e-scooter and a motorized bike were recovered from the apartment. They remained charred on the sidewalk hours later. But neighbors said they had seen and warned about them before.
“That shouldn’t have even happened because we have been calling the office, 311 and telling them he had them bikes over there,” said Duffy.
In the apartment below, extensive water damage left the family with no choice but to throw away most of their belongings. However, that is the least of their worries.
They said the bedroom ceiling crumbled once the fire was under control and residents were allowed back in. The debris fell on Hilda Doval’s arm. She said she cannot move her arm and would need therapy.
“I don’t feel nothing on this side,” Doval said.
There have been nearly 70 fires related to lithium-ion batteries in the New York City area just this year. Sen. Chuck Schumer is trying to get the federal government to regulate the batteries and require stricter safety measures. The batteries are mainly manufactured in China.
“Some battery manufacturers put in the safety measures on their own; some don’t. We need to stop them. We have bipartisan legislation. We are hoping to get more support. We hope to pass it as we can,” said Schumer.
Fire officials have repeatedly warned the public to be extra vigilant regarding lithium-ion batteries. They said you should never charge them overnight or leave them unattended or near an exit point.