One man dead in Bronx apartment fire sparked by lithium-ion battery

A man died Saturday when a lithium-ion battery caught fire in a Bronx apartment building, the Fire Department said.

The fire erupted inside a top-floor apartment in a 40-unit residential building at 2265 Olinville Ave. near Thwaites Pl. in Allerton at about 4:06 p.m., the department said.

A 64-year-old man was killed by the sixth-floor blaze, which firefighters brought under control by 4:45 p.m., officials said.

Fire marshals determined the fire was caused by a lithium-ion battery. Several batteries were found in a hallway inside the dead man’s apartment, said a high-ranking FDNY source.

It was at least the third time a New Yorker was killed by a lithium-ion battery in 2023. The batteries are commonly used in electric scooters.

In the first 10 weeks of this year, lithium-ion batteries have ignited 33 fires, injuring 42 people and killing two others.

The fatal fire comes less than two weeks after a lithium-ion battery from an electric scooter burst into flames inside a Bronx supermarket in Fordham Heights, destroying the building and injuring five firefighters and two civilians.

The City Council passed a package of lithium-ion battery safety bills on March 2 that included a measure to ban the buying and selling of uncertified and second-hand e-bike batteries, which are blamed in most of the fires.

With Thomas Tracy