HomeAsian AmericansSecond blaze at scene of deadly fire in Chinatown that killed four

Second blaze at scene of deadly fire in Chinatown that killed four

A second fire sparked on Friday at an e-bike repair shop in New York City’s Chinatown that had already experienced a deadly fire earlier that week.

The first fire began on Tuesday around 12:15 a.m. at 80 Madison Street. Officials believe that lithium-ion batteries caught fire and started the blaze at the e-bike repair shop on the first floor of a six-story building. The fire killed four and left two people injured.

Firefighters returned to the scene of the original fire on Friday, The New York Daily News reports. Officials believe that the fire may have been started by batteries left in the debris.

“The batteries were kind of scattered throughout debris, so we took out as much as we could, and the city’s working with a contractor to remove the remainder of the batteries,” FDNY Deputy Chief Michael Barbels said, according to CBS News.

E-bike battery fires have led to 71 injuries and 13 deaths this year, Gothamist reports. The New York City Fire Department said fires had caused only 40 injuries and two deaths by this time last year.

According to Gothamist, the city is preparing to install 327 battery charging stations at public housing complexes across the city. There will be an average of 67 residents per station.

“Most lithium-ion batteries and chargers are safe,” said Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, according to Gothamist. “But we also need to make sure that micro-mobility vehicles are stored and charged safely, so that faulty or improperly-manufactured batteries don’t put people in harm’s way.”

Officials say that the batteries and charges at the e-bike repair shop on Madison Street were not being stored properly. The owner of the shop had even been issued summonses and fined $1,600 last August for having too many charges on his wall without the proper electrical wiring.

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