Fire blamed on e-scooter battery kills woman, 5-year-old

August 3, 2022 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) — A fire sparked by an electric scooter’s battery killed a woman and a 5-year-old girl inside a New York City apartment early Wednesday, authorities said.

The fire was reported at about 2:30 a.m. in a sixth-floor apartment in East Harlem, police said. A 5-year-old girl and a 36-year-old woman were taken to hospitals, where they were pronounced dead. A 46-year-old man was in serious condition at Harlem Hospital.

The Fire Department said on Twitter that the fire was caused by “lithium ion batteries from E-Bikes/Scooters.”

There have been dozens of fires sparked by the batteries used to charge electric bikes and scooters since the conveyances became legal to use on New York City streets in 2020. A 9-year-old boy was killed in a fire in Queens caused by an e-scooter charger on Sept. 1, 2021.

Like Wednesday’s fire, the 2021 fire started at around 2 a.m. Then-fire commissioner Daniel Nigro said at the time that bikes and scooters should never be charged overnight when people are sleeping.