An Electric Bike Fire at a Midtown East Residential Building Has Injured 38 People

On Saturday, a three-alarm fire broke out in an apartment building in Midtown. According to fire department officials, more than 30 people were hurt, and some were in serious or critical condition.

Just before 10:30 a.m., fire and smoke were reported coming from an apartment building on East 52nd Street. The fire department says that it took firefighters about an hour to put out the fire.

As of early Saturday afternoon, 38 people had been hurt, and officials said they expected that number to go up. Most of the injuries were minor, but two people were hurt so badly that they could die, and five others were hurt seriously. Most of the people hurt by the fire were non-firefighters, but five firefighters were also hurt.

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Commissioner Laura Kavanagh says that a lithium-ion battery started the fire on the 20th floor of the building. Two people had to be taken out of the apartment where the fire started.

The department has attended to roughly 200 fires this year, according to Chief Fire Marshal Dan Flynn, “where the cause of the fire is a lithium ion battery for a micromobility device.”

“This particular problem, we believe, the occupant was repairing [electronic] bikes in the building and the fire was right behind the front door,” Flynn said at a press conference Saturday afternoon. “We recovered at least five bikes from this apartment.”

Several people who lived in the building, which had fire protection, made their way to the roof, where firefighters told them to stay. Officials said that other people were told to stay in their homes.

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