Another deadly fire caused by lithium-ion batteries in e-bikes broke out in New York City Tuesday morning, killing four and leaving two in critical condition.
The New York City Fire Department responded to a "heavy fire" at an e-bike store on 80 Madison Street in Manhattan around 12:15 a.m., the department tweeted.
Seven residents in the building above HQ E-Bike Repair were injured, six of who were in critical condition when firefighters arrived. One firefighter suffered minor injuries when responding to the fire.
Four of the six residents who were critically injured died, FDNY Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh told reporters Tuesday morning.
"It is very clear that this was caused by lithium-ion batteries in e-bikes," Kavanagh said.
She further noted that "while there is tremendous and important regulation that we have conducted with the city council and the mayor's office, it is also very important we get the word out how incredibly dangerous this is."
First responders were able to pull many victims out and treat them immediately, according to Kavanagh. However, despite how fast responders get to a scene, "the shear volume of fire is incredibly dangerous" and "can make it nearly impossible to get out in time," she added.
This marks the latest in a string of deadly fires that have involved e-bikes in New York City and around the country. In New York City alone – where micro-mobility devices have surged to popularity for making deliveries and commuting – there were 59 e-bike-related fires and five deaths this year prior to Tuesday.
Hours after the fire broke out, the FDNY warned New Yorkers not to leave batteries charging unattended or overnight while sleeping. Power or extension cords should not be used, either.
Kavanagh said Tuesday that the department is working with city officials to try to ensure that e-bikes are both certified and being used safely.
From Jan. 1, 2021, through Nov. 28, 2022, there were at least 208 reports of fire or overheating incidents involving micro-mobility devices across the country, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This resulted in at least 19 fatalities, five of which were associated with e-scooters, 11 with hoverboards and three with e-bikes, the agency said.
In December, CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. said in a statement that "deadly fires from lithium-ion batteries in e-bikes have reached a crisis level."
As part of the CPSC's latest effort to tackle this issue, the agency will hold a public meeting in July to further investigate safety issues with lithium-ion batteries in e-bikes.
During the public forum on July 27, the agency will "gather information and expertise regarding the science of these fires, particular safety issues related to e-bikes, and what it means for safety as more and more of these batteries are used in our homes and garages," CPSC Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric continued.
The meeting will not only focus on fires occurring in e-bikes and other micro-mobility products, but on the risks that could arise with the "growing consumer market for other products containing such batteries," according to the CPSC.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.