The devastating blaze that engulfed a Bronx apartment complex earlier this month was sparked by a lithium-ion battery, according to the New York City Fire Department (FDNY).
The inferno, which killed 12 people and injured multiple others, erupted on December 28 at the five-story building located on the corner of Prospect Avenue and East 187th Street.
An investigation by the FDNY determined an “overheated piece of electronic equipment” containing a lithium-ion battery was the cause of the calamity.
The FDNY also announced that the property lacked self-closing doors, which are designed to prevent the spread of flames, and that there were no working smoke alarms in the building.
“This fire is a tragic example of why access to working smoke alarms and self-closing doors is so critical to the safety of all New Yorkers,” said FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro in a press release.
The FDNY has since urged all New Yorkers to take the necessary steps to ensure their safety, such as checking smoke alarms and self-closing doors, and to ensure they are in working order.
The FDNY further emphasized that the risk of fire can be greatly reduced by avoiding the use of lithium-ion batteries and other combustible materials in the home.
The tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the potential devastation caused by lithium-ion batteries, and the need to exercise caution in the handling of these devices.
The FDNY has thus elucidated the necessity of adhering to safety protocols in order to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.