NYC Fire Commish Goes Scorched Earth on Illegal Battery Industry After Yet Another Deadly Blaze

New York City Fire Department
New York City Fire Department

New York City Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh railed against food-delivery companies and lithium-ion battery makers on Monday, a day after she says an electric scooter sparked a blaze that killed a grandmother, her son, and grandson in Brooklyn. “There is blood on the hands of this private industry—both the online retailers who continue to sell these illegal devices to this day, and the food delivery apps who continue to think that this problem will solve itself,” she said. Those killed included the family’s matriarch, Albertha West, 81, as well as Michael West, 58, and Jamiyl West, 33. Over a dozen others were injured. An enraged Kavanagh said that lithium-ion batteries have killed 17 people in New York City in 2023, a startling number she says will only grow until illegal lithium-ion-powered devices, including e-bikes and scooters, are out of the city and are no longer used by food delivery contractors, like those hired by DoorDash and Uber Eats.

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