Queens house fire was latest of lithium-ion battery blazes, FDNY says
A man was killed, and three other people were injured after a house fire sparked by a lithium-ion battery in Queens late Friday night.
According to the FDNY, at around 11 p.m., a fire was reported at a three-story home on 89th Street in East Elmhurst.
Firefighters responded to the scene, where they found an unidentified man on the home’s second floor, suffering from smoke inhalation.
The man was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The FDNY is mandating that property owners distribute a safety guide to tenants with lifesaving advice about lithium-ion batteries.
The fire department said 10 other people, including four firefighters, were taken to hospitals for treatment, at least seven of them with minor injuries.
Fire marshals later determined that a lithium-ion battery caused the blaze, the fire department tweeted Saturday.
Commercially available since the early 1990s, lithium-ion batteries are the familiar, rechargeable power source for many phones, laptop computers, vehicles and other devices. Fires can happen if the batteries are overcharged, overheated, defective or damaged.
Such batteries in electric bikes and scooters were linked to about 200 fires last year citywide. They included a blaze that killed a woman and a 5-year-old girl in East Harlem in August and a high-rise apartment-building fire that injured over three dozen people and spurred a dramatic rope rescue a few blocks from the United Nations headquarters in November.
The fire department has issued warnings and safety tips. The city administration has urged the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission to consider new regulations, and some city lawmakers have proposed legislation of their own.