Some of the dangerous batteries and cells recovered in Queens.
20 Feb 2024

Fire department discovers illegal battery shop - some lithium-ion batteries exploded when removed


The FDNY says it has busted an illegal and a very dangerous battery operation in Queens. The Electric Scooter shop was rebuilding lithium-ion batteries and creating new battery products from parts of other batteries, reports CBSNews.

The fire department  "recovered approximately 60 battery packs and hundreds of individual lithium-ion cells. Approximately 25 e-scooters and 25 combination electric and gas mopeds were also recovered," FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said.

In fact, according to ABC7, what was made at Wilson's E-Scooter Shop on Queens Boulevard was so dangerous, according to fire officials, that as the FDNY removed dozens of the batteries earlier in the first week of February, some of the batteries actually ignited and had to be extinguished.


"Frankenstein Batteries"

Kavanagh said on Tuesday that the FDNY's Lithium-Ion Task Force discovered the business was building battery packs from individual battery cells in violation of the fire code, creating so called "Frankenstein batteries."

Earlier this January, fire commissioner Laura Kavanagh pushed for legislation regarding lihtium-on battery safety standards. 

In February, FDNY chief fire marshal urged Congress to act on lithium-ion batteries: 

In 2023 alone, he says, the city saw 268 fires caused by the batteries. The fires killed 18 New Yorkers, and left another 150 injured. 

“Lithium-ion battery fires require large volumes of water to suppress and can reignite spontaneously, making them extremely difficult for firefighters to extinguish,” Chief Fire Marshal Daniel Flynn said during testimony before a panel of House lawmakers.