Diagram of a retrofitted e-bike. Wikipedia Commons Licence. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Electric_Bicycle_Diagram.jpg
10 Jan 2023

More fires caused by lithium batteries recorded in the first few days of 2023


World media, especially US media,  are reporting closely on fires started by lithium-Ion batteries, and even though the numbers are not necessarily high at the moment, the new year has already brought a few incidents of interest so far.  

House fire started by lithium batteries on Jan 5

Eleven people were displaced after two fires ignited a few hours apart in a multi-family home in Brockton, Massachusetts, on January 5th, 2023. 

According to the Brockton based newspaper The Enterprise, firefighters believe the fire was caused by lithium-ion batteries  in an E-scooter being charged in the basement. 

Brockton Fire Chief Brian Nardelli  said there has been an increase in lithium-ion battery fires in the area. These kinds of fires are generally caused by something called "thermal runaway," which is when "the heat generated within a battery exceeds the amount of heat that is dispersed to its surroundings". 


Two more  close calls with small lithium batteries in the first two days of the year

An airplane was  forced to make an emergency landing in Chicago after a passenger's laptop caught fire, according to officials. According to the US Sun News, Lufthansa flight LH457 was traveling from Los Angeles, California, to Frankfurt, Germany, when it made an unplanned landing at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Monday January 2. 

No passengers onboard were injured, however  two flight attendants were treated for smoke inhalation.

"The small fire was extinguished in flight before its safe landing," according to a Lufthansa statement.

"If the fire didn't kill you, the smoke would have, definitely."

According to CBS News, several people were injured Tuesday January 2 in a fire in Harlem that was started by e-bikes. 

Officials say the fire started on the second floor of a six-story home and took about an hour to get under control. Nine people sustained minor injuries. Four were taken to Harlem Hospital for observation.According to the  battalion chief, about 100 people in the apartment block were affected by the fire.

One woman told news reporters that she had to make it out from the building through the fire escape because of smoke in the hallways:

"When I got to the second floor, trying to come down to the ladder, I slipped, and I just thank God somebody grabbed my grandson," she said. "If the fire didn't kill you, the smoke would have, definitely."


Illustration Credit: (Cover Photo above) 

Diagram of a retrofitted e-bike. Wikipedia Commons Licence.