FDNY: Scooter battery caused 5-alarm supermarket fire in Grand Concourse

Video taken from the back of the 2096 Grand Concourse supermarket at around 10:30 a.m. shows the flames rapidly spreading throughout a room.

News 12 Staff

Mar 5, 2023, 6:06 PM

Updated 503 days ago

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The FDNY said the five-alarm fire that occurred Sunday at a supermarket on Grand Concourse and 181st Street was caused by a scooter’s lithium-ion battery.
Video taken from the back of the 2096 Grand Concourse supermarket at around 10:30 a.m. shows the flames rapidly spreading throughout a room. Fire officials said those flames quickly overtook the rest of the store and even reached a laundromat next door.
"The amount of fire that is produced by a single battery in under five minutes, we were unable to get ahead of it. It had spread quickly into the void spaces of the building and took off from there," said FDNY Chief John Hodgens.
About 200 firefighters and EMS workers responded to the blaze and prevented it from reaching the furniture store on the other side of the building.
Fire officials said the supermarket will have to be rebuilt.
"There is extraordinary damage. This entire building is completely destroyed, the roof has caved in, there is nothing left, and it is all because of this one single bike," said FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanaugh, as she and Mayor Eric Adams showed the remains of the e-bike that started the fire.
Authorities said five firefighters were injured, along with an EMS member and Con Edison worker. None of the injuries were life-threatening.
Authorities said they have not yet determined the specifics of what caused the scooter battery to catch on fire.
While both Adams and Kavanaugh praised the fast work of the FDNY in preventing casualties, they stressed the importance of e-bike safety.
"These devices should not be placed inside your home. It should not be placed in an area where it could cause harm or a great deal of destruction and, the worst-case scenario, the loss of life," Adams said.


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