Photo Courtesy of FDNY
Two firefighters were hurt in Monday afternoon’s blaze.
By Michael V. Cusenza
Two City firefighters suffered minor injuries Monday afternoon while battling a two-alarm blaze at an e-bike shop in Richmond Hill.
The fire broke out around 2:30 p.m. at The Kings Electric Scooters at 102-44 Jamaica Ave. The inferno was brought under control roughly an hour later.
City fire marshals on Tuesday determined the cause of the fire to be accidental, caused by a lithium-ion battery that had been recently repaired. The fire then extended to numerous other e-bikes and lithium-ion batteries in the store, FDNY officials said.
According to WABC-TV, so far this year there have been two deaths and more than 40 injuries in New York City from fires caused by lithium-ion batteries. In 2022, lithium-ion batteries caused 200 fires and six deaths across the five boroughs.
Earlier this month, Rep. Nydia Valazquez (D-Queens and Brooklyn) penned a letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection calling on the agency to do more to curb imports of dangerous unbranded lithium-ion batteries used in electric micro-mobility devices like e-scooters and bikes. In New York City, 65,000 gig economy delivery workers, or deliveristas, rely on these devices to earn a living.
In the letter, Velazquez called on the CBP to make efforts to seize substandard lithium-ion batteries and compel micro-mobility manufacturers, sellers, and resellers to comply with minimum safety standards.