NEW YORK (WPIX) — A five-alarm fire in the Bronx injured seven people on Sunday, officials said.
The fire started around 10:40 a.m. at Concourse Food Plaza at 2096 Grand Concourse and East 181st Street, according to the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). They said the fire was caused by a lithium-ion battery from an e-bike.
Within five minutes, the flames spread to the entire interior of the supermarket and to a laundromat next door, officials said. It took more than 200 firefighters and 50 units to put out the fire.
Five FDNY firefighters, an EMS worker, and a civilian were injured in the fire, according to Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh. Their injuries were not life-threatening and all were in stable condition.
“It’s an extraordinary amount of damage from this single bike,” Kavanagh said. “This really shows you how incredibly serious this can be.”
The fire occurred just a few days after the New York City Council passed new legislation to regulate lithium-ion batteries that power e-bikes. The legislation bans the sale of unregulated lithium-ion batteries in New York City.
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Lithium-ion batteries can pose a severe hazard when modified or stored improperly, according to the FDNY. More than 200 fires in New York City were connected to lithium-ion batteries in 2022, according to the City Council. That includes a November fire sparked by another e-bike that injured more than three dozen people.
Lithium-ion batteries have also been to blame for recent fires on planes. Last month, a flight bound for New Jersey was forced to return to San Diego International shortly after takeoff when an external battery pack caught fire in the cabin.