Fire investigators looking at an e-scooter as the possible cause of an intense house fire on Sydney’s northern beaches - Narraweena

Published: 23 May 2024 06:39pm

Four people have escaped an intense house fire, possibly caused by an e-scooter on charge, at Narraweena, on Sydney’s northern beaches.

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) firefighters responded to the blaze in Ronald Avenue, just after 4am.

On arrival, the crews were confronted with smoke billowing from the single storey home.

A collapsing roof and extreme heat prevented the crews from entering the house, so they adopted a defensive strategy to contain the flames.

Three of the four residents received medical treatment at the scene, with one person being transported to hospital for burns to a foot.

FRNSW Duty Commander, Inspector Steven Perkins, said the occupants had an incredibly lucky escape.

“All early indicators are pointing to an e-scooter on charge inside the house as the possible cause,” Inspector Perkins said.

“The nature of Lithium-ion battery fires is extremely volatile.

“When these devices fail, they tend to do so extremely quickly and with great intensity.

“Despite how quickly the fire took hold, our crews successfully prevented it from spreading throughout the entire home to neighbouring properties.”

As winter approaches, FRNSW is reminding the public to show extra caution around Lithium-ion powered devices such as e-bikes, e-scooters and mobile devices. 

When buying, using or charging Lithium-ion products, FRNSW advises the public to:

  • Be aware that Lithium-ion batteries are prone to reignite after the initial fire has been extinguished.
  • Buy Lithium-Ion products and batteries from reputable suppliers that meet Australian standards.
  • Only use cords and chargers supplied with the device. Don’t use inferior or different voltage replacement components.
  • Never charge devices while you are sleeping or in places that could block your escape.
  • Do not over-charge batteries. Switch off any cells once fully charged to avoid over-heating.
  • Try to charge micro-mobility devices like e-bikes and e-scooters outside, away from the home and on a hard surface.
  • Charge in a clear non-combustible area near a smoke alarm.
  • Note that any strong odours, extreme heat, colour change, deformity or strange sounds could indicate a problem with a Lithium-ion battery.
  • Dispose of Lithium-ion batteries properly, don’t throw them out with household garbage.

The public can find further information about Lithium-ion battery safety on the FRNSW website: [external link]

Updated: 23 May 2024 06:43pm

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Related safety topics

Battery and charging safety

It's important that we all understand the risks of lithium-ion batteries and be prepared if things go wrong.

Smoke alarms

It“s the law to have at least one working smoke alarm installed on every level of your home.

Escape plans

Having a home escape plan and a working smoke alarm increases your chances of getting out safely.

Details about this incident may change and should not be used as emergency information and/or advice.

For all life threatening emergencies, call Triple Zero (000)

For flood information, warnings or requests for non-life threatening assistance, call the SES on 132 500 or visit the NSW State Emergency Service website here. [external link].

For information directly relating to bushfires please call the Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737 or visit the NSW Rural Fire Service Website here. [external link]

Stations nearby

DEE WHY Fire Station

38 Fisher Road, Dee Why NSW 2099

NARRABEEN Fire Station

9 Ocean Street, Narrabeen NSW 2101

MANLY Fire Station

128 Sydney Road, Fairlight NSW 2094