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Two men from Harrow hospitalised after ‘catastrophic failure’ of e-bike battery pack believed to have started fire

Firefighters from London Fire Brigade are issuing an e-bike safety reminder after a house fire off Kenmore Road in Harrow last Friday (31 May).

The brigade said that the ground floor of the two-storey terraced house was fully destroyed by fire and most of the first floor was also damaged. A small part of the roof of the affected property and a neighbouring property were damaged by the blaze. One e-bike was also damaged and removed from the property before the arrival of the Brigade.

They added that, “Four people left the property before the Brigade arrived. Two men were taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews. The fire is believed to have been caused by the catastrophic failure of a battery pack on an e-bike.”

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson also said: “This fire demonstrates how quickly e-bike fires can spread and the disastrous damage that can be caused.

“E-bikes and e-scooters are London’s fastest-growing fire risk. If you own an e-bike or e-scooter, there are a number of things you can do to help keep yourself and those around you safe.

“Converting pedal bikes into e-bikes using DIY kits bought online can be very dangerous. They can pose a higher risk of fire. Get a professional or competent person to carry out the conversion and make sure to buy a battery from a reputable seller and that it is not second-hand.

“When charging your e-bike or e-scooter, make sure you are using the correct charger. Mismatching the charger increases the risk of fire. It’s also important not to overcharge and to unplug the charger once it’s completed charging.

Two men from Harrow hospitalised after 'catastrophic failure' of e-bike battery pack believed to have started fire Harrow Online
Kenmore Road, Harrow.

“Never charge an e-bike or e-scooter unattended or whilst you’re sleeping and don’t charge it on an escape route, such as in a hallway. Instead, charge or store the device outdoors or in a shed. If this is not possible, make sure the device is in a room where you can shut a door and contain a fire.”

E-bikes and e-scooters use powerful lithium batteries, which can cause fires or explosions if damaged or improperly handled. Many incidents involve second-hand or modified vehicles, with online purchases often lacking the safety standards of high street shops, raising concerns for the London Fire Brigade.

The Brigade was called at 07:47am, and the fire was under control by 09:23am. Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters from Stanmore, Harrow, and Northolt fire stations attended the scene.

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