An electric scooter left charging unattended in a London house burst into flames over the weekend, engulfing the kitchen in smoke and fire, officials said.
Dell Williams, a 37-year-old security guard who had recently bought the e-scooter, said he was charging it in the communal kitchen of the shared two-story terraced house in Harlesden, instead of his room, to keep his dog from touching it while it charged, according to London Fire Brigade.
Fire officials released frightening video of the e-scooter going up in flames.
“As the video shows, once a battery starts to go into thermal runaway a fire develops very quickly and can block escape routes,” London Fire Brigade Deputy Commissioner Dom Ellis said in a news release, adding that thermal runaway can lead to the ejection of a range gases, some of which can be harmful.
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Fire officials said that Dell had attempted to put out the flames with a fire blanket but was overcome by fumes and was forced to evacuate the house.
Dell said in the release that he had spent hours hospitalized after inhaling smoke from the fire and was thankful to have gotten out of the house “in one piece.”
“I am so grateful to be alive,” he said. “I spent eight hours in hospital due to inhaling smoke from the fire and when I went back to the house it was such an eye-opener. I was shocked, I am shocked now. I am so grateful that no one else was hurt. I cheated death.”
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No other residents were nearby at the time the e-scooter burst into flames, and no serious injuries were reported, fire officials said. The devastation displaced all of the residents of the shared house.
Dell warned others with e-scooters to take precautions with the devices.
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“These things happen. I wouldn’t say don’t buy one, but if you buy one store them outside so they don’t catch fire. Don’t leave them on charge unattended. Keep people and property safe!”