38+ Injured in NYC High-Rise Fire Caused by Lithium-Ion Battery
On Saturday, November 5th, a high-rise apartment building in Manhattan caught fire because of a defective battery, injuring more than 30 individuals, two of whom are in severe condition.
The 37-story building on East 52nd Street, close to the East River, caught fire early on Saturday morning. People were seen hanging out of apartment windows in videos that were shared online as firefighters used ropes to ascend the structure as smoke streamed out of a window.
According to FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh from the scene of the fire at 429 East 52nd Street in Manhattan, “Today at 10:24 a.m. we got calls for a fire at 429 East 52nd Street on the 20th floor. Fire, EMS, and dispatch did an extraordinary job rescuing a number of civilians, including an incredible roof rope rescue on the 20th floor. The total patient count as of right now is 38: two critical, five serious, and the rest minor.”
Kavanagh added, “the cause of the fire is a lithium-ion battery connected to a micro-mobility device. I cannot emphasize enough the extraordinary work of our members this morning in unbelievably dangerous conditions.”
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Frank Leeb, FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief, said, “Our units were on the scene in just over three minutes and were confronted with a heavy fire condition on the 20th floor. Our members did an amazing job. We saw the life-saving rope rescue, which is the last resort in the #FDNY, and we were able to rescue two civilians from the fire apartment.”
He added, “What we saw today was our training, our teamwork, and our absolute dedication from the units that operated up there with the lifesaving rope and then passed them off to our exceptionally trained EMS members to get these patients off the scene and to local hospitals in a matter of minutes.”
In New York, several people have perished in fires related to micro-mobility devices. An 8-year-old girl died in a fire that was blamed on an electric scooter battery in Queens in September, and a woman and a 5-year-old kid died in a fire in Harlem in August. In September 2021, a 9-year-old boy died in Queens due to an e-scooter-related fire.