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Hot wheels: E-skateboard ignites in East Village

BY JEFFERSON SIEGEL | Just before 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon the Fire Department received a call of an “e-bike fire” in the East Village. Several units responded to in front of 45 First Ave. at E. Third St., including hazardous materials trucks. Firefighters quickly extinguished what turned out to be an electric skateboard blaze. They put the smoldering battery into a metal barrel, which was then filled with fire-suppressant granules and sealed for proper disposal.

A Fire Department spokesperson said no injuries were reported.

A firefighter examined the remains of the melted e-skateboard while another poured fire-suppressant granules on the board’s lithium-ion battery that caught fire on First Avenue. (Photo by © Jefferson Siegel)

As of this March, there have been 33 lithium-ion battery fires in New York City, resulting in three deaths and 42 injuries. Last year saw 220 e-battery-related fires, causing six deaths and 147 injuries.

In March the City Council passed, and Mayor Adams signed, a series of e-bike laws requiring that devices powered by lithium-ion batteries meet UL safety standards. The new law also bans reselling the batteries and restricts reconditioning of used batteries.

A firefighter removed the e-skateboard after its battery was removed and put into a metal barrel filled with fire suppressant. (Photo by © Jefferson Siegel)

“They are not just regular fires,” Adams said at the time. “They are basically explosions and they spread so rapidly, and it’s more than just water [that is needed] to take them out.”

There are an estimated 65,000 e-bikes currently in use throughout the city.


  1. robin robin August 22, 2023

    Coral Springs FL had a Prohibition on truck (even little ones like the old ford ranger) resident took them to court and won because their van was was their only transportation (handicapped). As he was handicapped he won, decided to move when his lease was up. The council was still under rule of the developer (Coral Springs Properties). city eventually changed it to commercial vehicles.

  2. Phil Phil April 23, 2023

    Delivery people for years relied on pedal power and plain old bikes. Get rid of e-bikes and go back to the Schwinns.

    • ala ala April 23, 2023

      Sadly the reasons for the use of ebikes is due to 1) apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash and 2) City’s allowing the use of ebikes etc.

      Prior to apps, delivery was restaurant-based and local, within 10 to 20 blocks. Now people order through apps and expect food to be delivered from anywhere.

    • James Smith James Smith April 24, 2023

      People should get rid of cars and go back to horse back riding too since there’s an issue with getting around easier and not wanting to sweat your life away while doing your job

      • Lee Lee April 25, 2023

        James – Actually in the old days, the rich had horses and carriages.
        Some non-rich had horses but most people had to rely on walking or for farming or “work” used donkeys.

        Of course, folks these days want their food and ecommerce ASAP

  3. JTM JTM April 23, 2023

    Really scary.
    Besides fire danger in apartments, people are bringing ebikes etc on subway.

    • Jay Crockett Jay Crockett April 26, 2023

      Exactly! I am terrified every time I see the e-bikes in the subway. Can this possibly be legal? I get off the train and wait for the next one but was stuck with one once as the guy came on right before going through the tunnel to Brooklyn.

      • Lee Lee April 27, 2023

        Incredibly the MTA has just decided that it is OK to bring ebikes on subways and buses!
        People should really message the MTA and elected officials.

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