E-bike repair shop fire in New York leaves multiple people dead

New York, New York - Four people were killed and two were left clinging to life after a fire erupted in an e-bike repair shop in Manhattan’s Chinatown early Tuesday, authorities said.

A fie broke out in a Manhattan e-bike repair shop, killing at least four people.
A fie broke out in a Manhattan e-bike repair shop, killing at least four people.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

The blaze broke out about 12:15 AM EDT in HQ E-Bike Repair, a shop on the first floor of a six-story apartment building on Madison St. near Catherine St.

Fire and smoke soon spread to the apartments above.

"We arrived in just about four minutes," said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief John Sarrocco. "We found heavy fire in an e-bike store... Units made an interior attack and put that fire out."

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Fires caused by e-bike batteries have become common in New York, with seven people killed this year prior to Tuesday’s blaze.

Two women and two men were killed and two women were hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday, authorities said. A seventh victim suffered minor injuries. All the victims are believed to be older adults.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries.

Scores of residents above the repair shop escaped or were rescued.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear. A pile of smoldering e-bikes lay in the street behind police tape as authorities investigated the blaze.

Last month, a 94-year-old woman and her son died from injuries suffered in a fast-moving e-bike fire in the family’s Washington Heights apartment.

The deaths of Bertha Domenech Santiago and her son, Luis, marked the sixth and seventh fatalities caused by the ignition of lithium-ion batteries – used for electric bikes, scooters and hoverboards – surpassing the number of fire deaths from 2022, according to the FDNY.

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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