CORONA, Queens (PIX11) – The FDNY is working to determine the cause of a fire at a home in Queens Wednesday morning that left two people injured, including a firefighter.
A hazardous materials team was called to the scene after a number of lithium-ion batteries were found. Electric bikes were chained to a fence outside the home in Corona, with one bike missing its battery, which investigators speculate may been charging inside overnight.
The fire is renewing the call to monitor lithium-ion batteries after they have caused a number of fires, some of which have been deadly.
This past Saturday in the College Point neighborhood of Queens, an 8-year-old girl died when a fire broke out on the top floor of a three-story home. The fire was likely caused by a lithium-ion battery, according to fire officials.
Back in August, a 36-year-old woman and a 5-year-old girl were both killed in a fire at the Jackie Robinson Houses in East Harlem. The fire marshal said the batteries from an electric scooter sparked the flames.
The FDNY has recorded 126 fires so far this year involving lithium-ion batteries in electric bikes and scooters. The fires have killed five people and injured more than 70 others. Now, lawmakers are taking a closer look.
“It’s scary because these e-bike batteries contain fluids that when ignited create powerful, difficult-to-extinguish fires. We cannot wait for tragedies to continue,” said New York City Council member Oswald Feliz.
The New York City Council proposed legislation restricting the sale of unsafe, uncertified e-bike batteries that are not equipped to prevent malfunctions that start these fires.
New York City leaders say the quality is important, considering e-bikes are here to stay.
“E-bikes do have a place in our city. Hard-working New Yorkers rely on these e-bike to earn a living and to support their families,” Feliz said.
NYCHA has also looked to ban e-bikes and charging their batteries within housing developments.