A San Diego resident was burned and hospitalized after a fire was apparently ignited when the battery from an e-bike battery ignited and exploded Sunday. The fire started in the 2900 block of Boston Avenue at 6:09 a.m. Sunday when a couple was charging their electric bike in the living room, according to Deputy Chief of Operations Dan Eddy of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
The man attempted to douse the battery fire by applying water to the blaze which caused an explosion. The explosion caused burns on the victim’s arms and legs and due to the severity of the burns he was transported to the UCSD Burn Center for treatment. The first-floor apartment was completely destroyed while the apartment above sustained heavy smoke damage.
The victim initially escaped the apartment while neighbors provided blankets to cover her. SDFRD Battalion Chief Chris Babler went to a store to buy her some clothes and shoes and the Red Cross was asked to help the victims. There were no other reported injuries to firefighters or nearby residents. Investigators from Hazmat and the Metro Arson Task Force removed other batteries that were in the residence for safe disposal.
Deputy Chief of Operations Eddy said fire departments have seen an increase in fires caused by e-bike batteries and chargers. Eddy said as more people are buying e-bikes some are buying inexpensive chargers and batteries that can cause fires and injuries and these are generally unsafe. Eddy further cautioned people not to pour water on charger or battery fires, which can lead to an explosion as it did in this case.
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