Officials: New York Fire Caused by Lithium Battery Injures 38

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
November 5, 2022New York
Officials: New York Fire Caused by Lithium Battery Injures 38
The Rivercourt on East 52nd Street in Manhattan, New York, in June 2019. (Google Maps/Screenshot via NTD)

NEW YORK—More than three dozen people were injured, two critically, in a fire at a high-rise apartment building in Manhattan caused by a faulty battery, fire officials said.

The blaze broke out Saturday morning in the 37-story building known as the Rivercourt on East 52nd Street, near the East River. Videos posted online showed people hanging out of apartment windows as firefighters used ropes to scale the building and smoke poured out of a window.

Some residents above the floor where the fire started escaped to the roof, fire officials said.

At a news conference, FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said the fire started in a 20th-floor apartment from a lithium battery connected to an unspecified micromobility device.

Thirty-eight people were injured, including two in critical condition and five in serious condition, fire officials said. Fire officials were not sure how many families were displaced by the fire.

Several people have died in fires linked to micromobility devices in New York. An electric scooter battery sparked a fire that killed an 8-year-old girl in Queens in September, and a woman and a 5-year-old girl were killed in August in Harlem by a fire that was blamed on a scooter battery. A fire linked to an e-scooter killed a 9-year-old boy in Queens in September 2021.

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