E-bike battery caused Shepherd’s Bush high rise flat blaze

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has said an e-bike battery was the cause of a fire in a 12th floor flat in Shepherd’s Bush yesterday.

The fire burnt out a flat in a block in Queensdale Crescent, less than a mile from where the Grenfell Tower fire claimed 72 lives in 2017.

The LFB were called at around 9.20am and needed 60 firefighters to tackle the blaze. Fire crews led six people to safety and one man was taken to hospital.

The 12th floor flat burnt out after the e-bike battery set it ablaze Picture: LFB

The brigade’s fire investigators have determined the blaze was accidental and caused by the failure of an e-bike’s lithium-ion battery.

LFB said it had seen a huge spike in e-bike and e-scooter incidents and have attended 32 fires involving e-bikes and another seven involving e-scooters this year.

There have been a further 17 fires involving other lithium-ion batteries this year and last year, in total there were more than 100 fires in the capital involving lithium-ion batteries.

LFB’s assistant commissioner for fire safety, Charlie Pugsley, said: “It’s incredibly concerning that we are continuing to see a rise in incidents involving e-bikes.

“When these batteries and chargers fail, they do so with ferocity and because the fires develop so rapidly the situation can quickly become incredibly serious.

“These items are often stored in communal areas and corridors and can block people’s only means of escape.

Fire investigators have determined that many of the e-bike incidents involved e-bike conversion kits that convert a standard push bike into an electric bike.

Assistant Commissioner Pugsley added: “There is a significant risk posed by the e-bikes which have been converted and we are predominantly seeing fires in ones which have been purchased from online market places and batteries which have been sourced on the internet, which may not meet the correct safety standards.

“Lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to failure if incorrect chargers are used.

“Our advice is to try and store and charge these items in a safe location if possible, such as in a shed or garage, and if they have to be stored inside, make sure there is smoke detection fitted and your means of escape is not obstructed.

“We would also suggest people try not to charge them when they are asleep, so that if there is an issue they can react quickly.”

You can get fire safety advice tailored to your home by using the LFB’s free online Home Fire Safety Checker.

Pictured top: Remnants of a charred bike in the Shepherd’s Bush flat (Picture: LFB)




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