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

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

The fire broke out inside an apartment on the top floor of a 40-unit residential building at 2265 Olinville Ave. near Thwaites Pl. in Allerton around 4:06 p.m., the department said.

A 64-year-old man died in the sixth-floor fire, which firefighters brought under control at 4:45 p.m., authorities said.

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

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

In the first 10 weeks of this year, lithium-ion batteries have started 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 caught fire 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 second-hand, uncertified electric bike batteries, which are credited with most of the fires.

With Thomas Tracy

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