They suspect that battery caused fire in New York

NEW YORK (HPD) — Authorities in New York City were investigating a skyscraper fire Sunday that injured more than 40 people and was apparently caused by a lithium-ion battery.

The Red Cross said it gave temporary shelter and some money to two people displaced by Saturday’s fire, which involved a dramatic rope rescue on 52nd Street in Manhattan, not far from the United Nations headquarters.

In a report updated on Sunday, the Fire Department said Sunday that a total of 43 civilians, firefighters and police officers were injured.

Two civilians were taken to hospital in critical condition and two in serious condition. The other injuries were classified as minor. A message was sent Sunday to the hospital asking for an update.

Authorities were finding out if the 37-year-old building had an alarm system, if any doors were left open, and other questions.

Authorities suspect the cause was a lithium-ion battery from a “small mobility” device such as a bicycle, scooter or electric skateboard.

Fire coordinator Daniel Flynn said there were at least five electric bikes in the apartment where the flames broke out.

Experts suspect that the inhabitant of that dwelling repaired those devices, Flynn said.

Citywide so far this year, some 200 fires and six deaths have been attributed to such batteries.

There has been an “exponential increase” in such cases in recent years, Flynn told a news conference.

The Fire Department has repeatedly asked citizens to comply with battery charging and storage instructions, use only cables provided by the manufacturer, and stop using the battery if it overheats.

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