A 5-year-old girl has been killed along with her father’s girlfriend and their three dogs after an electric bike parked inside their apartment exploded.
Ericka Williams and Chanise Anderson, 36, were identified as the victims after the tragic incident in a sixth-floor flat in the Jackie Robinson Houses.
The child’s grieving father Erick Williams, 46, was also rushed to the hospital with severe burns. Witnesses said he fled from the apartment but couldn’t go back inside to save his daughter and girlfriend after the fire melted the locking mechanism of the door.
FDNY has warned that battery-powered bikes are an increasing source of deadly fires.
The incident in East Harlem was reported at around 2:30 am on Wednesday. Paramedics rushed Ericka and her father to NYC Health and Hospitals where the girl was pronounced dead.
The girl’s mother arrived at the scene after the deadly fire and she struggled to contain her emotions, the Daily News reported.
“I still can’t believe it! I can’t move! My baby is gone,” the grieving mother expressed.
Erick Williams’ son, Erick Jr, told the paper that his father is “a good guy.”
He also said that Ms. Anderson did not live in the apartment but was only spending the night when the tragic incident happened.
In New York, five people have already died and six have been left injured in blazes sparked by lithium-ion batteries, the FDNY reported.
Experts are now blaming the incidents on cheap electric bikes, overuse of a battery that is damaged, as well as the volume of delivery drivers using them.
Mike Fritz, a co-founder of Human Powered Solutions, told Daily Mail that New York City has become the epicenter of electronic-bike fires due to a massive influx of delivery personnel using battery-powered cycles.
“A cheap pack is a prominent incident and is the cause of most of the fires,” Fritz said.
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