At least 38 people were injured in a fire at a Manhattan apartment building on Saturday morning that authorities believe was caused by the explosion of a lithium-ion battery connected to a micro mobility device.
Among the injuries, two were critical, five serious and the rest minor, Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said at a news conference.
Authorities received calls about fire and smoke in the building on East 52nd Street shortly before 10:30 a.m., the commissioner said. Fire units arrived at the scene in “just over three minutes” after receiving the first reports and found a “serious fire” on the 20th floor of the building, said the assistant deputy chief of the New York Fire Department, Frank Leeb, during the press conference.
Two civilians were rescued from the burning apartment, Leeb said. Fire personnel used ropes to perform the rescues, he said.
“Firefighters, EMS and dispatch personnel did an extraordinary job rescuing a number of civilians, including an incredible roof-top rescue,” Kavanagh said, adding that fire personnel worked in “unbelievably dangerous conditions.”
The fire is almost “our 200th fire this year involving a lithium-ion battery from a micro mobility device,” said Fire Chief Dan Flynn.