SHARPES, Fla. – Around 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Joe Christian said his roommates on Ronald Street were charging an e-bike in their mobile home when its lithium-ion battery exploded.
The owner of the trailer needed to go to the hospital.
“We had the e-bike battery plugged in in the room and then there was an explosion,” Christian said. “Cody stomped on the fire, burned his feet all up.”
Brevard County said Christian’s roommate suffered minor burns.
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News 6 investigator Erik Sandoval interviewed the director of the Florida state fire marshal last year, who said that when lithium-ion batteries overheat and explode, they can burn hotter and faster than other fires.
“Faster than any fire we’ve ever seen,” JoAnne Rice said. “It terrifies me that we’re going to lose firefighters, we’re to lose our citizens to these types of fires.”
Christian said the e-bike exploded rapidly.
The trailer is a total loss.
“Coming from people who don’t have much in life as it is, when you lose what you got, it’s kind of hard, you know,” Christian said.
When asked if he would get another e-bike, Christan said he’d rather have a bike that runs on gasoline now.
“You fall down, you get back up,” he said. “Keep on going. That’s just what life is.”
While the state fire marshal told investigator Erik Sandoval that firefighters often don’t have the right tools for these new kinds of battery fires, Brevard County said firefighters had no problem putting out this one.
Thanks to the News 6 investigation, a bill designed to get results and prevent rechargeable battery fires is working its way through the state Legislature.
The bill would give the state fire marshal’s office the power to create new rules for safely storing and charging lithium-ion batteries.
Reporting last year exposed the fact that there are no rules.
The bill has passed two committees and has another vote slated for Monday.
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