Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Walthamstow house fire 'started by e-bike' leaves five in hospital

Three adults and two children were taken to hospital after inhaling smoke

Hero for Walthamstow house fire 'started by e-bike' leaves five in hospital
Damage inside the Roland Road home (credit: LFB)
By Waltham Forest Echo 04 July 2022

Firefighters have issued a safety warning about e-bikes after a serious house fire in Walthamstow last night.Firefighters have issued a safety warning about e-bikes after a serious house fire in Walthamstow last night.

Half of the ground floor of the home in Roland Road was damaged in the blaze and two women, a man and two children were taken to hospital after inhaling smoke.Half of the ground floor of the home in Roland Road was damaged in the blaze and two women, a man and two children were taken to hospital after inhaling smoke.

Investigators for the London Fire Brigade believe the fire started accidentally after the batteries of a converted e-bike malfunctioned.Investigators for the London Fire Brigade believe the fire started accidentally after the batteries of a converted e-bike malfunctioned.

The LFB was called to the scene shortly before 5pm on 3rd July and had the fire under control just before 7pm.The LFB was called to the scene shortly before 5pm on 3rd July and had the fire under control just before 7pm.

The outside of the damaged home (credit: LFB)The outside of the damaged home (credit: LFB)

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “It’s incredibly concerning we are continuing to see a rise in incidents involving e-bikes and e-scooters.A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “It’s incredibly concerning we are continuing to see a rise in incidents involving e-bikes and e-scooters.

“When these batteries and chargers fail, they do so with ferocity and, because the fires develop so rapidly, the situation can quickly become incredibly serious.“When these batteries and chargers fail, they do so with ferocity and, because the fires develop so rapidly, the situation can quickly become incredibly serious.

“Lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to failure if incorrect chargers are used and there is a significant risk posed by e-bikes which have been converted, such as in this case.“Lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to failure if incorrect chargers are used and there is a significant risk posed by e-bikes which have been converted, such as in this case.

"We are predominantly seeing fires in ones which have been purchased from online market places and batteries which have been sourced on the internet, which may not meet the correct safety standards."We are predominantly seeing fires in ones which have been purchased from online market places and batteries which have been sourced on the internet, which may not meet the correct safety standards.

“Our advice is to try and store and charge these items in a safe location if possible, such as in a shed or garage. If they have to be stored inside, make sure there is smoke detection fitted and your means of escape is not obstructed.“Our advice is to try and store and charge these items in a safe location if possible, such as in a shed or garage. If they have to be stored inside, make sure there is smoke detection fitted and your means of escape is not obstructed.

“However we know this won’t be possible for everyone, so if you are charging them indoors, please follow our advice on using safe charging and ensure everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire.“However we know this won’t be possible for everyone, so if you are charging them indoors, please follow our advice on using safe charging and ensure everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire.

“Make sure they are charged in a room where there is smoke detection and on a hard, flat surface. We would also suggest people try not to charge them when they are asleep, so that if there is an issue they can react quickly.”“Make sure they are charged in a room where there is smoke detection and on a hard, flat surface. We would also suggest people try not to charge them when they are asleep, so that if there is an issue they can react quickly.”