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4 dead, 2 critically injured in NYC e-bike store fire


nsnewsTwo men and two women died in the blaze.

Ns News online Desk: Four people were killed and two others left clinging to life when an explosive fire ripped through a Lower Manhattan e-bike store early Tuesday — and officials quickly determined the blaze was caused by a lithium-ion battery used to charge the bikes.

Eric Wu, whose elderly parents were killed in the early-morning inferno at 80 Madison St., which houses HQ E-Bike Repair and apartments above it, said he urged his 85-year-old father and 74-year-old mother to move out “because it’s not safe.

“I’ve seen how they operate,” Wu claimed of the business, which authorities said was “known to the Fire Department” and previously been slapped with “several” violations in the past.

A 71-year-old man and 62-year-old woman also perished in the inferno that erupted around 12:15 a.m. on the first floor of the six-story building, authorities said.

In addition to the dead, an 80-year-old man and 65-year-old woman were left clinging to life, according to officials. Several other people, including a firefighter and EMT, also suffered less serious injuries.

“I wanted them to get out of there because it’s not safe,” Wu said of his tragic parents Holly and Cheung, who lived in an apartment above the shop.

He said he was not surprised about the previous violations against the shop, where he’s spotted e-bikes spread out on the sidewalk when visiting.

“You have e-bikes everywhere. If it was a legit shop, you would not be spreading your parts all over the place,” said the grieving son, who once worked in the e-recycling industry.

“It shouldn’t be around residential [areas]” he said of e-bikes.

Video from the scene shows flames piercing through the metal gate at the front of the business. Later in the morning, mounds of charred e-bikes could be seen on the ground in front of the business.

“As you can see to my left, it is very clear that this was caused by lithium-ion batteries and e-bikes,” FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh told reporters at the scene. “There was a very large number of both batteries and e-bikes.

This exact scenario, where there is an e-bike store on the first floor and residences above — and the volume of fire created by these lithium ion batteries — is incredibly deadly,” Kavanagh said.

“Our members responded quickly. They got entrance to the building quickly. They did an extraordinary job. Both fire and EMS put their lives on the line to pull victims out, and did pull many victims out, and were able to treat them right away.

“But the sheer volume of fire is incredibly dangerous. We’ve said this over and over — it can make it nearly impossible to get out in time. And so we really want to work with all of our local partners here to make sure that we are getting the message out that this can be incredibly dangerous.”

Chief Fire Marshal Dan Flynn said, “There are violations related to the charging of these devices.

“There are violations that are related to the amount of devices that are at the location. There are violations related to the electrical wiring that it takes to charge these devices.”

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