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38 hospitalized after a fire broke out in a high-rise apartment building in New York

38 hospitalized after a fire broke out in a high-rise apartment building in New York

Dozens of people were injured Saturday morning in a fire at an apartment building in New York, authorities said.

A three-alarm fire broke out on the 20th floor of a midtown Manhattan skyscraper with “severe fire,” the New York City Fire Department said.

The fire hospitalized 38 people, including two in critical condition due to smoke inhalation, officials said. Five are in serious condition, and the others have minor injuries, said FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh.

Five members of the FDNY were among the patients, officials said.

“There will likely be an increase in the number of patients as more families come in and are evaluated by EMS,” EMS Academy Chief Joseph Pataky told reporters.

The fire was reported around 10:30 a.m. and was under control within an hour, the FDNY said.

PHOTO: NYFD firefighters rescue a woman in an image taken from video, after a fire at a midtown Manhattan high-rise trapped residents in the morning of Nov. 5, 2022, injuring several people, according to the FDNY.

NYFD firefighters rescue a woman, in a photo taken from a video posted on Twitter, after a fire at a midtown Manhattan skyscraper trapped residents in the early morning hours of Nov. 5, 2022, injuring several people, according to the FDNY.

Patti Ryan/Twitter

Onlooker footage captured the dramatic rescue, as the firefighter descended with the woman to the floor below and safely entered the building as smoke billowed from the windows above.

“The fire EMS and the dispatcher did an outstanding job saving a number of civilians,” Kavanagh said during a press briefing, referring specifically to that rescue. “I cannot emphasize enough the outstanding work of our members this morning in incredibly dangerous conditions.”

Two people were rescued from the apartment fire using lifelines, said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Frank Leeb.

The cause of the fire was determined to be a lithium-ion battery “connected to a micro-mobility device,” Kavanagh said.

“The lithium-ion battery adds another level when we talk about fire dynamics,” Leeb said. “These rooms flash in seconds.”

PHOTO: A fire at a Midtown Manhattan skyscraper trapped residents on the morning of Nov. 5, 2022, and injured several people, according to the FDNY.

A fire at a midtown Manhattan skyscraper in the early hours of November 5, 2022 trapped residents and injured several people, according to the FDNY.

Alexis Christoforous/ABC News

PHOTO: A fire at a Midtown Manhattan skyscraper trapped residents on the morning of Nov. 5, 2022, and injured several people, according to the FDNY.

A fire at a midtown Manhattan skyscraper in the early hours of November 5, 2022 trapped residents and injured several people, according to the FDNY.

Alexis Christoforous/ABC News

So far this year in New York City, there have been nearly 200 fires caused by lithium-ion batteries for micro-mobile devices, such as an electric bicycle or scooter, said Chief Fire Marshal Dan Flynn.

Authorities believe the tenant was repairing electric bicycles and the fire started directly behind the front door, he said. The FDNY recovered at least five bicycles from the apartment, he said.

Kavanagh highlighted the “growing cause of fires” from e-bikes and urged people to follow the “safest possible way to use them”, including not charging them overnight when sleeping and making sure they are certified and the batteries are not damaged.

In August, a an apartment fire in Harlem caused by a lithium-ion battery from an e-bike or scooter killed two people, including a five-year-old girl.



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