FDNY: Electric bikes caused 4 fires across New York in 1 day

NEW YORK — Flames and smoke billowed from a Brooklyn home on Thursday, and investigators say the fire was started by an electric bicycle.

According to the FDNY, it was one of four fires started by e-bikes in a single day.

The panic could be heard as flames shot several feet into the air in Kensington, Brooklyn. A fire engulfed two homes on East Ninth Street early Thursday morning.

“Nightmare,” neighbor Aaron Wexler told CBS2’s Cory James.

“I saw a fire. It was like a furnace. It felt like I was standing in front of a heater,” neighbor Joseph Barry said.

Barry lives a few doors down. He learned that e-batteries were the cause of the fire, and it hit the house.

“I own an e-bike myself,” he said.

There have been more than 40 lithium-ion battery fires for e-bikes and scooters so far this year, according to the FDNY. One of these fires was deadly.

Last year, officials said there were more than 100 similar fires with 79 injured and four dead.

“It shocks me,” said Brooklyn resident Karen Heimann.

The FDNY has created a video sharing safety tips on how to safely charge, store and dispose of electronic drums.

Some of their suggestions include buying products that have been lab tested, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and not charging devices under a pillow, bed, or couch.

Joseph Barry’s father, meanwhile, says that due to the fire in his neighborhood, he plans to be extra careful with his son’s e-bike.

“Let’s make sure he doesn’t plug it in overnight,” he said. “We want someone awake while this thing is charging, not while they’re sleeping.”

The other three fires were all in Manhattan. Firefighters tell us that a total of 12 people were injured in total. None of these injuries are serious.

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