An apartment fire in New York City left a 36-year-old woman and a five-year-old girl dead, and the girl's 46-year-old father hospitalized in critical condition. The New York City Fire Department said firefighters responded to a blaze at 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday (August 3) on the sixth floor of the New York City Housing Authority's Jackie Robinson Houses in Harlem.
Officials said that 78 firefighters battled the fire and managed to contain it to a single unit. It took firefighters about an hour to extinguish the flames.
A firefighter and another civilian suffered minor injuries in the fire and had to be hospitalized.
Investigators determined that the fire was caused by lithium-ion batteries from an e-scooter. Photos taken by the New York Post showed several motorized bicycles and scooters with fire damage lined up near a fence outside the building.
Fire officials have noted an increase in fires caused by overheated lithium-ion batteries. According to the New York Times, five people have died this year in fires related to lithium-ion batteries, and fire marshals have conducted 121 battery-related investigations in 2022. That is more than the 104 investigations they carried out last year.