e bike fire london
Photo: London Fire Brigade

Highgate E-Bike Blaze Results in Severe Burns for Food Delivery Rider

A resident of Highgate sustained severe, life-altering injuries while attempting to extinguish an e-bike fire in his home on Tuesday, September 12.

The incident occurred at New Orleans Walk when the e-bike spontaneously ignited. The owner initially tried to douse the flames using a fire extinguisher, suffering burns in the process. The fire brigade arrived shortly after, managing to safely suppress the fire.

Upon inspection, the London Fire Brigade deduced that the e-bike had been charging when it ignited. Interestingly, the charger responsible had been bought online just a day earlier.

This incident is not isolated. London has witnessed multiple e-bike-related fires recently. The prior weekend saw two separate fires in Holborn and Penge, both caused by e-bikes. Alarmingly, 2023 has already recorded over 137 fires stemming from e-bikes or e-scooters, with e-bikes being involved in at least 115 instances. These fires have tragically claimed three lives and injured over 50 individuals.

LFB Deputy Commissioner Dom Ellis emphasized the increasing prevalence of such fires, noting that the current year’s count has surpassed the total for 2022. He highlighted the ferocity of fires caused by lithium batteries, which are used in these vehicles. Such fires can produce intense heat, powerful flames, and potentially deadly fumes.

Ellis advised the public to alert the fire brigade immediately if they encounter a fire, especially if it concerns an e-bike or e-scooter. He also pointed out the benefits of e-bikes in urban mobility but cautioned about the potential hazards, especially when they are modified with second-hand components or paired with incompatible chargers.

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