Lithium-Ion e-bike battery


Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) crews have saved an inner-city unit from an explosion and fire, sparked by a faulty Lithium-Ion e-bike battery.

The FRNSW crew from Leichhardt was travelling near the city when it responded to a fire alarm In Yurong Street, Darlinghurst, around 11.20am.

Joined by a Rescue Pumper from the City of Sydney station, firefighters raced to the scene where smoke was issuing from a basement-level studio apartment

The building’s manager was attempting to douse the fire with a chemical powder extinguisher, whilst a neighbour, outside, was assisting with a garden hose.

Fire crews entered the unit and successfully attacked the blaze in the corner of a room with two lines of hose.

A 50-year-old man was treated for smoke inhalation by NSW Ambulance paramedics at the scene.

Firefighters say the blaze was started by a Lithium-Ion e-bike battery that overheated and went into ‘thermal runaway’ whilst on charge.

The resulting explosion blew out a window in the apartment.

FRNSW reminds the public to:

Be aware that lithium-ion batteries are prone to reignite after the initial fire has been extinguished
Buy Lithium-Ion products and batteries from reputable suppliers that meet Australian standards
Only use cords and chargers supplied with the device…don’t use inferior, replacement components
Never charge devices while you are sleeping, away from the home or in places that could block your escape
Not over-charge batteries. Switch off any cells once fully charged to avoid over-heating
Try to charge micromobility devices like e-bikes and e-scooters outside, away from the home
Charge in a clear non-combustible area near a smoke alarm.
Note that any strong odours, extreme heat, colour change, deformity or strange sounds could indicate a problem with a Lithium-ion battery. Have it checked by a professional.
For more information: [external link]

Media note: FRNSW footage of the incident is available here: [external link] It contains the voice of Leichhardt 022 Station Officer, Steve Croft.