Eighteen children were injured, one seriously.In New York City Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
Firefighters responded to a raging fire in a Queens basement just after 2 p.m. local time, FDNY’s director of fire operations, John Esposito, told reporters.
Esposito said firefighters carried children out of the building, one of whom was also removed from the basement where the fire started.
A total of 18 children were treated on-site and 17 are in stable condition, said Stacey Scanlon, deputy assistant chief of staff. Only one child was taken to hospital. In the last report, the child was in critical condition, Scanlon said.
Authorities were able to put the blaze under control within about 40 minutes, according to Esposito.
According to the New York City Department of Buildings, the basement was being used for a daycare and a dental lab, CBS New York reported.
Officials believe a lithium-ion battery may have caused the fire.
“Yeah, right, lithium-ion batteries,” Esposito said. “We have had issues over the last few years with scooters and bikes and their charging, mismatched batteries and charging cords, low quality batteries, etc. So the message the fire department wants to convey is that you should Use UL or other regulated and certified batteries, do not charge in the hallway or hallway leaving your home or apartment, do not charge overnight.
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