E-bike battery explosion injury in DC has officials urging caution about safe ownership

A man was critically injured after an electric bicycle explosion at a home in Northwest D.C. last Thursday.

The battery caught fire at a home in the 700 block of Irving Street near Georgia Avenue.

Now, D.C. Fire and EMS is out with a warning.

D.C. Fire spokesman Vito Maggiolo said the e-bike’s battery was likely overcharged or charged with the wrong charger.

He said these kinds of fires have happened before but this one is different.

“[This is the] first injury that our fire investigators can recollect that was directly caused by a fire that originated with an e-bike,” Maggiolo said.

The man was seriously burned, but is now out of the hospital.

“If you are going to charge them, if you can, avoid having them inside the house,” said Maggiolo.

Maggiolo added if that’s not possible, at least make sure to never have the bike near the front door of your home or any other escape route in the case they catch fire and block your route out.

Ann Rondan, a neighbor of the man injured, said she and her husband have always been suspicious of the e-bike batteries and decided to never buy an electric bike.

“We’re surprised and feel sorry because they don’t have a lot of money to replace everything they lost,” she said. “Electronics and stuff like that, I don’t want it inside my house because you never know.”

She said she felt badly for the man hurt.

There is no damage estimate yet on the house fire.

WTOP’s Ciara Wells contributed to this report.

Kyle Cooper

Weekend and fill-in anchor Kyle Cooper has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years, Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP, Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up