A 9-year-old boy died in a blaze that started in the basement of his Ozone Park building and injured 11 others Wednesday morning.
The New York Fire Department responded to the fire around 2 a.m. inside a three-story building at 81-19 102 Road.
The firefighters pulled 14 people out of the building, including the boy, whom police identified as Remi Miguel Gomez Hernandez. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
Eleven other people, including one firefighter, suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the blaze, the FDNY reported. They were taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.
The firefighters had the blaze under control within about a half hour.
“They quickly found out that once again we had a fatal fire in our city started by batteries from electric bikes. It’s the third time this year,” FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Wednesday in a recording provided to the media. Nigro added that the city has seen around 60 structural fires started by the bike batteries.
“We want to really stress the seriousness of this situation. These folks had just moved in the day before. They were charging batteries overnight. Batteries ignited, possibly exploded and caused this fire and trapped this young boy.”
An investigation remains ongoing in whether the building was an illegal conversion, Nigro added.