“Frightened, the scariest I’ve ever been in my life,” April Booth shared how she felt seeing flames and smoke inside the apartment she’s staying in when an electric bike’s lithium-ion battery it caught fire on Tuesday morning.
Firefighters responded to an emergency call at 6:50 a.m. when they reported smoke coming from the sixth floor of the building located at 85-14 Broadway Street in Elmhurst.
The incident was extinguished before firefighters reached the building. No injuries were reported.
“We were charging the battery. We didn’t know it had been charged for a long time and it started catching fire,” April added.
The fire caused damage to the roof of the apartment and there is still a burning smell in the corridors of the building where you can see some damaged items in plastic bags.
At least 140 e-bike related fires have been reported so far this year in which 140 people have been injured and six have died.
After what happened, April says they would never again recharge a lithium battery inside the apartment.
As a safety measure, the city’s fire department has issued an emergency bulletin with information to prevent fires caused by overcharging lithium-ion batteries.
Building owners will need to post a bulletin with this information in their buildings. The measure will come into effect in April next year.