newstream

Singapore

Infant, 3 residents injured in fire caused by e-bike battery

Infant, 3 residents injured in fire caused by e-bike battery
The fire broke out on the second floor of Blk 231 Bukit Batok East Ave 5. The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that the four suffered “minor injuries” and they were taken to the National University Hospital (NUH). Photo: SCDF

Infant, 3 residents injured in fire caused by e-bike battery

SINGAPORE — A resident of a flat and three other neighbours, including an infant, were injured during a fire caused by overnight charging of an electric bicycle on early Thursday (Oct 12) morning. 


The fire broke out on the second floor of Blk 231 Bukit Batok East Ave 5.
 The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that the four suffered “minor injuries” and were taken to the National University Hospital (NUH). 


The SCDF said it was alerted to the incident at about 3.50am, and put out the fire with a water jet. 


TODAY understands that among the injured is a resident of the affected unit, as well as three occupants of a flat next door.

A neighbour, a 17-year-old who will only identify himself as Alif, said his sister, brother-in-law and their five-day-old infant were taken to the hospital. He said the parents of the infant escaped major injuries and received outpatient treatment. The baby, though, remains warded for observation. 

“The fire happened in the middle of the night, so we couldn’t see clearly how big the fire was,” the teenager told TODAY.

His father, who declined to give his name, added: “We tried to take pails of water to extinguish the fire… but it got too big.”

The SCDF warned users of personal mobility devices such as electric bicycles to take steps not to overcharge the vehicle’s battery and avoid charging them overnight.
 It added that the batteries should not be placed near combustible materials while charging.


This is not the first fire that is related to overcharging of electric bicycles. 
On July 8, a fire started in the living room where a man had charged his electrical bicycle battery for several hours. Investigations later traced the cause of the fire to the bicycle battery.

In their annual fire, ambulance and enforcement statistics report, the SCDF cautioned that rechargeable batteries that are left charging over long periods of time would result in overcharging, which can cause permanent battery damage to the battery and result in battery swelling.


The growing popularity of electrical bicycles, personal mobility devices (PMDs) has led to an increase in the number of e-scooter battery fires last year. 
According to the statistics report in February, 17 fires were caused by electrical bicycles in 2016, up from 14 in 2015. As for PMDs, there were 14 fires in 2016 – a significant increase from just one case in 2015.