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North Vancouver crews called to put out e-bike battery fire

Any battery can be a fire hazard but this is the first e-bike battery explosion locally, crews say.
Firefighter HelmetCINDY
North Vancouver fire crews have put out a fire started from an e-bike battery explosion, a first for the department.

District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services members were called to put out a fire started by an e-bike battery Saturday (April 16).

The call came from a home on the 800 block of Browning Place in the Seymour neighbourhood, just before 2:30 p.m., said assistant chief Scott Ferguson.

The homeowner, who had already shut off the main breaker to the house, met crews in the driveway and told them the fire started with an e-bike’s battery in the basement, Ferguson said.

When crews checked with an infrared camera, they could see no sign of the fire extending into the walls but they did use fans to ventilate the home.

“It sounds like there was a lot of smoke,” Ferguson said. “There was some drywall damage from the battery exploding, as well as some smoke damage.”

Ferguson said a fire prevention officer will follow up with the homeowner to determine the official cause.

Battery packs of any size can be fire hazards, but this is the first case of an e-bike catching fire that Ferguson said he’s aware of.

The fire may offer a lesson for other e-bike owners, he added.

“I would say that probably the biggest one is to unplug things after they're fully charged, rather than just leaving them plugged in 24/7 because they do generate a lot of heat, which of course can then damage the battery itself, melt it or even get it smoking and a fire can start.”