Brooklyn apartment fire that left three people critically injured may have been ignited by faulty lithium-ion battery: FDNY

Charred e-bike and barrel with lithium ion battery after Brookklyn fire
A charred e-bike and a barrel containing a damaged lithium-ion battery following an apartment fire in Brooklyn on Oct. 17, 2023.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Three Brooklyn residents were critically injured when a fire erupted inside their apartment building on Tuesday morning after an apparent lithium-ion battery explosion, police reported.

The blaze ignited just before 4:48 a.m. on Oct. 17 inside a second-floor unit within the Oak Gardens high-rise complex at 120 Menahan St. in Bushwick.

More than 60 firefighters from 12 units responded to the scene. During the search, the Bravest members came upon five people inside the location, all of whom had been overcome by acidic smoke.

EMS rushed the five victims to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. Three of the victims were listed in critical condition, while two others were were stable, it was reported.

Firefighter at scene of Brooklyn fire
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell
Fire damaged Brooklyn apartment windows
A second floor apartment in Brooklyn was impacted by an exploding lithium ion battery during a fire on Oct. 17, 2023.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

While knocking down the fire, members of Hazmat Company 1 removed the alleged culprit in the blaze, a burst lithium-ion battery and a totaled e-bike, from the location. Defective lithium-ion batteries used to charge e-bikes have been among the most prolific causes of fires in New York City over the last several years.

“People don’t listen man,” said a building resident. “They tell you to not charge these things in your apartment. It’s been on the news for over a year. It is a life hazard for everyone in the building.”

Firefighters rescued five occupants overcome by another lithium ion battery explosion at 120 Menahan Street on Tuesday morning.

The FDNY placed the blaze under control at about 5:26 a.m. Fire marshals are conducting the ongoing investigation.