Investigators say a lithium ion battery caused a fire in a residential 17 story apartment building at the Twin Parks North West complex in the Bronx in New York City, Sunday. More than 63 people were injured. Many of the victims suffered smoke inhalation. Some were seen jumping from windows. The fire sent 32 people to hospitals with life-threatening conditions. Some victims were in cardiac arrest. A four-year-old was dead and many fatalities are expected. One FDNY member was also injured and brought to the hospital. About 200 members of the New York City Fire Department were on scene. The fire started in a duplex apartment on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building. It quickly progressed. A door to the apartment was opened, leading to the spread of the fire. Mayor Eric Adams was on the scene Sunday, calling the fire “a horrific, horrific painful moment for the City of New York.” “This is going to be one of the worst fires we have witnessed in the City of New York in modern times,” he added.
The city’s deadliest blaze in more than a quarter-century, until now, killed 13 people including a year-old child in a Bronx apartment building the night of Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017. Major explosions caused by Li-ion batteries are an uncommon occurrence. If they are exposed to the wrong conditions, however, there is a slight chance of them catching fire or exploding and they have all the elements needed to self-sustain a fire. In a powerful thermal incident, the Li-ion battery may release some of the flammable electrolyte along with various flammable/toxic gases such as hydrogen (H2), methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrofluoric acid (HF). Lithium ion batteries are used in all types of products today.