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St. Albans house fire on Thursday may have been sparked by exploding lithium-ion battery: FDNY

Mar. 16, 2023 By Bill Parry

For the second time this week, an exploding lithium-ion battery may have been the cause of another fire in southeast Queens. The FDNY battled a house fire that broke out near Roy Wilkins Park in St. Albans on Thursday morning, March 16.

The fire started in the basement of a two-story home at 115-34 170th St. just before noon, and 60 firefighters and 12 units responded along with EMS personnel, according to the FDNY.

Firefighters battled yet another suspected e-bike fire at 115-34 170th St. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

There were no injuries and the fire was placed under control at 12:32 p.m., according to FDNY.

The fire marshal’s office is working to confirm the cause of the fire, but it is believed to have been sparked by an exploding lithium-ion battery that was being recharged on an e-bike in the basement.

The FDNY confirmed that exploding lithium-ion batteries were the cause of a two-alarm fire that broke out at The Kings Electric Scooter shop at 102-44 Jamaica Ave. on Monday afternoon.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries and a hazmat unit was called to the scene, where they removed lithium-ion batteries from several of the nearly 80 electric bikes and scooters that were pulled from the shop. A second-floor apartment was gutted in the blaze, but no civilians were injured, according to the FDNY.

So far this year, exploding lithium-ion batteries have caused fires that have killed two people and injured more than 40 others across the five boroughs. They are currently the third leading cause of fires in New York City after smoking and open flames, according to the FDNY.

A man is overcome with emotion during a house fire at 115-34 170th St. in St. Albans, Queens, on Thursday morning.

Earlier on Thursday, the FDNY responded to another house fire that broke out in the rear extension of a residence at 41-41 Denman St. in Elmhurst just before 5:30 a.m. Sixty firefighters and EMS personnel and 12 units were able to bring the fire under control at 5:48 a.m. Fire marshals will determine the cause of that fire.

Additional reporting by Lloyd Mitchell.

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