Investigators Say Deadly House Fire Caused By Lithium-Ion Battery

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Emily Cope Contributor
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One man was killed and 10 others injured in a Queens house fire that investigators say was sparked by a lithium-ion battery.

Officials said flames tore through the first two stories of a three-story home shortly after 11:00 p.m. on Jan. 20, the New York Post reported. Over 100 first responders arrived on the scene and had the fire under control by 12:40 a.m., according to the outlet.

Firefighters found a man in his 60s unconscious on the second floor. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead from smoke inhalation, the Post reported.

Police also reported that two men and a woman were taken to Elmhurst Hospital in stable condition, while four firefighters and three residents also suffered minor injuries.

Firefighters said a lithium-ion electric battery caused the fire, according to local ABC affiliate WABC. Officials pulled a burnt scooter from the first-floor hallway of the residence, the outlet noted.

“I unplugged the scooter, I was on the first floor. As I’m putting cereal in a bowl, I heard an explosion, like gunfire. As I open the door to the second floor, those stairs were already on fire in seconds. It was a disaster,” one resident, Jose Corona, told WABC.

Officials said that fires started by e-bike lithium batteries killed six people in 2022, per the Post. The Federal Aviation Administration prohibits lithium batteries in carry-on or checked baggage on planes, as they are known for overheating or catching fire.