Firefighters warn of an increase in the number of fires caused by e-bikes after the Shepherd’s Bush fire.

Firefighters have issued an emergency warning for e-bike fire following a fire at a multi-storey apartment building in west London.

Residents were evacuated from the Stebbing House in Queensdale Crescent, Shepherd’s Bush on Tuesday morning as firefighters battled the blaze in a 12th-floor apartment.

LFB fire investigators said the fire was accidental and was caused by the e-bike’s lithium-ion battery failing.

Liiban Shakat, who lives in the apartment, told how his friend, who stayed with him for several days, was charging the battery of an electric bike in the apartment when it began to smoke in the outlet.

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Fire brigades in front of an apartment building at Stebbing House in Shepherd’s Bush, London (PA)

The fire brigade has issued an urgent warning saying there is a huge spike in e-bike and e-scooter fires as their popularity continues to rise.

In 2022 alone, the LBF said crews had already attended 32 e-bike-related fires and seven more e-scooter-related fires.

The brigade said there were also 17 other fires involving other lithium-ion batteries.

Meanwhile, there were more than 100 fires linked to lithium-ion batteries in the capital last year, according to the LBF.

Charlie Pugsley, LBF assistant fire safety commissioner, said: “It is incredibly worrying that we continue to see an increase in e-bike incidents.

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Photo from @LondonFire twitter showing fire damage inside the apartment. (FB)

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

“These items are often stored in common areas and hallways and can block people’s only means of escape.

“Another problem with fires involving lithium-ion batteries, which we saw during yesterday’s fire, is that when they fail, their contents are thrown out over a large area, which can lead to several areas in the room igniting, where the fire started. ”

The LBF advises owners to avoid storing e-bikes or e-scooters in public areas to prevent fire risk when the only escape route is blocked.

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Burn marks visible outside apartment after fire (Pennsylvania)

Mr Pugsley also warned of a “significant risk” involved in converting e-bikes.

“Mostly we are seeing fires in batteries purchased from online marketplaces and batteries purchased online, which may not meet proper safety standards,” he said.

“Lithium-ion batteries can fail if the wrong chargers are used.”

LBF advises that users are advised to store and charge these items in a safe location where possible, such as a shed or garage, or ensure smoke detectors are installed and means of escape are not covered or stored inside.

“Make sure they charge in a room with smoke detectors and on a hard, flat surface,” Pugsley warned.

“We also recommend that people try not to charge them when they are sleeping, so that if there is a problem, they can respond quickly.”

Owners are strongly encouraged to get fire safety tips tailored to their home with LBF’s free tool, Home Fire Safety Checker.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council said it was considering taking strong action to ban residential charging and would be asking the government for help.

A spokesman said: “We are grateful to the emergency services for their prompt response yesterday.

“We encourage all residents to follow the London Fire Brigade’s advice when charging e-scooters and e-bikes at home.

“These batteries and chargers, often bought online without regulations, are very dangerous and put people at unacceptable risk.”

The fire was reported in Shepherd’s Bush on Tuesday at 9:23 am, and around 10:55 am it was extinguished.

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) said eight fire engines and about 60 firefighters arrived on the scene, less than a mile from Grenfell Tower.

The London Ambulance Service said one person was taken to hospital and two were examined at the scene.