Charging ebike blamed for blaze

An ebike that was left on charge overnight has been blamed for a starting a fire and seriously damaging a Darlinghurst terrace house last week.

More than 20 firefighters from Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) attended the fire at a five-bedroom property on Flinders Street. Seven people were home at the time, with four able to self-evacuate and three being rescued by FRNSW.

FRNSW was able to extinguish the fire and investigators deemed the cause of the fire to be an ebike that was charging overnight. A working smoke alarm alerted residents to the fire which engulfed the home.

The burnt out ebike that caused the Darlinghurst house fire. The cylinder objects are cells from the ebike battery.

The fire service warned people to be aware of faulty ebike chargers or damaged batteries and recommended ebikes be charged away from sleeping areas. Tips for ebike owners include:

  • Only charge with the genuine manufacturer's charger
  • If battery pack is damaged get it repaired by an authorised repairer
  • When possible charge bike away from habitable areas of the home
  • Ensure you always have a working smoke alarm

The brand of the bicycle and ebike system that caused the Darlinghurst fire is unknown. And while occurrences are rare, it is not the first example of ebikes catching fire.

There was a similar incident in Leichardt in 2019, while Kogan and eZeebike have both previously been forced to recall ebikes because of fire risks.

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.