New York City officials say an electric bike caused a fire that destroyed a local supermarket and apartment building on Sunday.
The New York Fire Department (NYFD) said that the lithium-ion battery of an e-bike started a five-alarm fire in the Bronx.
New York ABC affiliate WABC-TV reported that the fire also badly damaged a laundromat on the coinciding blocks of the neighborhood.
“There is nothing left and it is all because of this one single bike,” NYFD Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said at a news conference, adding that five firefighters, one emergency medical services official and a civilian sustained injuries throughout the ordeal.
“There is extraordinary damage. This entire building behind me is completely destroyed,” Kavanagh said. “And so we really want to emphasize to the public, how much damage can be done by a single bike, but I think that this shows how really dangerous this is to our members; to the public.”
New York officials have pushed for the regulation of nonapproved lithium-ion batteries used in e-bikes and scooters, and for public education on safety guidelines such as where to store the batteries safely.
The New York City Council last week passed legislation that prohibited the sale of unregulated lithium-ion batteries, which have caused at least 30 fires in the metropolitan area this year, WABC-TV reported.