The surging popularity of electric bikes and scooters has seen a spike in “ferocious fires” caused by faulty third party e-bike batteries, according to London Fire Brigade.
At one property in Tottenham a man jumped from a first floor window after hearing a loud bang as the battery went up in flames.
Another man living there was in the shower and managed to escape through the front door.
“I have lost everything – all my clothes were destroyed; the bike was destroyed and even my passport has gone. It was so scary – everything is gone, everything is burnt,” said Nihad Chemban.
“People must be aware of these risks as you buy these batteries and you just don’t know if they are safe,” he added.
London Fire Brigade said it had already been called to dozens of fires this year involving electric bikes or scooters – some causing serious injury.
“In many cases, they are stored in escape routes or communal areas which can stop people being able to escape if they become involved in a fire,” the Brigade said.
Station Officer Matt Cullen said a lot of fires involve e-bike conversion kits which change a standard push bike into an electric bike.
“At some of these incidents we have seen multiple batteries and chargers for a number of bikes in one property, which has resulted in the mixing of different chargers and batteries,” he said.
Firefighters said electric bike and scooter owners should only use trusted batteries and charge and store them correctly.