Local firefighter warns of fire hazards from lithium-ion batteries

UPDATE (1/12 @ 4:16 p.m.) – An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the Bronx apartment fire that killed 17 people was caused by an electric vehicle battery. That fire was actually started by an electric space heater.

A second fire in the Bronx earlier the same day, also at an apartment building, was started by an electric vehicle battery. That fire caused heavy property damage but did not result in any deaths. Click here for more information on the fire caused by the electric vehicle battery on Jan 8.

We apologize for any confusion.


OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – Lithium-ion batteries and their potentially flammable nature are causing a recent stir after a Bronx apartment building fire over the weekend.

The fire started because of the battery in an electric vehicle Sunday, along with reports of over 100 fires like it caused by e-bikes last year.

Assistant Fire Chief for the Oak Hill Fire Department Robert Begley talks of the potential hazards behind these new kinds of fires.

“The real hazards are where they self-ignite and things of that nature,” Begley says. “In the vehicles, if we have an electric car fire, it’s the same basic firefighting operation as a regular vehicle, the thing that gets into more detail is after the fire is out where we have to cool the batteries off, which are underneath the car.”

While COVID-19 has put a halt to much of the training that goes on at the department, Begley says they plan to hold in-house safety training for these lithium battery fires in the very near future.

Sponsored Content