FDNY Sites Lithium-ion Battery Connected to a Micro Mobility Device Causes East Side Building Fire

November 5, 2022 – East Side, NYC By APB Staff Writer

Forty-three people were hurt, two seriously, after the three-alarm blaze erupted in the 20th floor apartment at 429 East 52nd Street on Saturday morning.

New York firefighters made an amazing rescue on the 20th floor of the Manhattan apartment building – when they arrived, a woman had climbed out the window to escape smoke. Firefighters executed a rope rescue to lower the woman down to the floor below. APB was on site to witness the rescue.

The building, known as the Rivercourt, has 292 apartments, the Dept of Building. FDNY assisted victims in the stairways and roof of the 37-story building. The fire marshal determined the fire was started by a lithium-ion battery in a “micro-mobility device” caused by being plugged into an e-bike.

In the the dramatic video, the woman is seen hanging outside of the apartment window as smoke billowed out and firefighters surrounded her. She was caught on a window guard and was freed by the four firefighters working together in the rescue. One firefighter, who was on a rope secured inside the apartment directly above, wrapped his limbs around the woman before his colleagues slowly lowered them to the apartment below, where another firefighter pulled her inside. The hero rescuer was identified by the FDNY as Artur Podgorski of Ladder 16 on East 67th Street.

Another firefighter then went to grab a second occupant in that apartment. FDNY officials said they recovered at least five bikes from the apartment where the blaze started and the fire was “right behind the front door.” The resident there was known to repair bikes and investigators are looking into reports that the FDNY has been called to the location in the past following complaints lodged against the occupant.

The injured, including five FDNY firefighters, were removed to Cornell Hospital.