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‘Very violent and very fast’ fires prompt crucial lithium-ion safety tips from Rockland emergency officials

Officials say an e-bike is believed to be to blame for the fire, based on eyewitness accounts — but they’re still trying to understand why it ignited.

News 12 Staff

Jun 2, 2023, 10:17 PM

Updated 354 days ago

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A “violent” fire in Spring Valley prompted county officials to put out an urgent call with tips on how to handle lithium-ion batteries.
The Veloz Barbershop is picking up the pieces after a fire tore through the Main Street business Thursday.
Officials say an e-bike is believed to be to blame for the fire, based on eyewitness accounts — but they’re still trying to understand why it ignited.
It’s Rockland County’s first known fire incident sparked by an e-bike. Rockland Director of Fire and Emergency Services Chris Kear has been tracking incidents with lithium-ion batteries for more than a year.
"We've had cellphones. We've had RC car batteries. We had the one yesterday with the e-bike. We've had one to do with a pool motor. So, there's nothing really across the board yet,” says Kear. “We're not looking to scare the public out there, because lithium batteries are pretty much in everything now."
Kear offered some safety tips that could make a big difference:
- Use the device manufactured battery and chargers
- Charge devices during the day.
- Keep an eye out for any color changes or leaks.
Kear says these small suggestions can help, especially since these types of fires have been “very violent and very fast.”


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