House fire that killed 1 and injured 10 was sparked by lithium-ion battery, FDNY says
A man is dead after a late-night house fire was sparked by a lithium-ion battery in New York City, according to officials.
According to the FDNY, firefighters were alerted to a blaze at a three-story home in Elmhurst, Queens, just after 11 p.m. on Friday. The second and third floors of the home were on fire.
When firefighters were able to access the home, they found a man on the second floor suffering from smoke inhalation. He was brought to Elmhurst Hospital, where he died, CBS New York reported.
Several other people were also injured. According to the FDNY, three people were transported to Elmhurst Hospital with minor injuries, two people were brought to Harlem Hospital Center and one person was transported to NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital. The FDNY did not provide information on their conditions.
Four firefighters also received medical treatment for minor injuries. It took about 90 minutes to get the blaze under control, the FDNY said.
Officials have not said if any of the injured or if the dead man lived at the home.
On Saturday morning, the agency wrote on Twitter that the fire was caused by a lithium-ion battery, but didn't provide further details.
Failed lithium-ion batteries, which power things like E-bikes, scooters, cell phones and more, have been the cause of many fires. Overheated or defective batteries can catch fire or even explode, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). FDNY officials said in September 2022 that at least 150 fires had been started by the devices in New York City that year.
"When (lithium-ion batteries) do fail, they fail very unexpectedly and very violently. It's almost like a blowtorch effect," FDNY Chief Fire Marshal Daniel Flynn told CBS New York.
The NFPA recommends never charging a lithium-ion battery overnight or leaving a battery on the charger after it's fully charged. Batteries should be kept at room temperature, should be stored away from other flammable materials, and should not be charged under a pillow, on a bed, or on a couch.
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