An eight-year-old girl from New York City was killed in a house fire caused by an electric scooter battery. Stephanie Villa Torres is the third child and fourth person to die in a fire started by an overheated scooter battery in the last 12 months in New York.
The New York City Fire Department responded to the fire just after 7:30 a.m. at a multi-family home in Queens on Saturday (September 17) and found the young girl unresponsive. She was rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The girl’s father and her 18-year-old brother were also taken to the hospital, where they were treated for burns and smoke inhalation. They are listed in stable condition.
“The firefighter took the girl out first. He was carrying her in his arms,” resident Daniel Calle told the New York Post. “She looked like she was asleep.”
The building’s landlord said the family bought the electric scooter about a month ago.
“They just bought that stupid thing,” the landlord said. “I think they got it a month, a month and a half ago. Most of the time, the bike is here. [The girl’s dad] told me it was for his son, but he uses it, too.”
Torres is the latest victim to die in a fire caused by an e-scooter. In August, a woman and a 5-year-old girl were killed in a fire caused by a scooter’s lithium-ion battery. Last September, a nine-year-old boy in Queens was killed in a fire linked to an e-scooter battery.
“Those batteries, they gotta do something about those batteries because it’s too many lives they are losing,” a neighbor told the Post.