Manhattan high-rise fire leaves 38 injured, 2 critically: FDNY

More than three dozen people were injured, two critically, in a fire at a high-rise apartment building in Midtown Manhattan caused by a faulty battery, New York City fire officials said.

Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said that at around 10:24 a.m., the FDNY responded to a fire on the 20th floor of a building at 429 East 42nd Street.  

Firefighters arrived on the scene and were confronted by a heavy smoke condition, and managed to save two civilians in a daring rope rescue high off the ground.

Authorities say a total of 38 people were injured in the fire. Two were critically injured from smoke inhalation and five were seriously injured. Five of the injured were members of the FDNY.

Fire officials say the cause of the fire was a lithium-ion battery that was powering a micro-mobility device. Fire officials say rooms catch fire in seconds in those types of fires and that they quickly create "unbelievably dangerous" conditions.

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Smoke billows from the window of a fire in a Midtown apartment building. (Credit: Alex Chrisman)

According to Chief Fire Marshall Dan Flynn, there have been 200 lithium-ion battery fires this year, and six people have died as a result. 

Last month, an 8-year-old girl was killed when a fire sparked by a lithium-ion battery swept through a multifamily home in Queens. 

Authorities recovered five bikes from the apartment and believe that the person who lived there was repairing bikes.

Commissioner Kavanaugh reiterated the importance of taking proper safety precautions when charging such devices, along with the importance of fire safety as the winter months approach.