Revealed: Cause of Newham fire that saw man hospitalised 

A house fire in Northfield Road, East Ham, is thought to have been caused by the failure of a lithium-ion battery

A house fire in Northfield Road, East Ham, is thought to have been caused by the failure of a lithium-ion battery for an e-bike - Credit: London Fire Brigade

The cause of a blaze that broke out in a house in Newham, leading to a man being hospitalised, has been revealed by fire investigators. 

It took about 40 firefighters using six fire engines an hour-and-a-half to bring the fire in the house in Northfield Road, East Ham, under control, after it erupted just before 3pm on Wednesday - March 16. 

A man left the house before the London Fire Brigade (LFB) arrived, and was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene by London Ambulance Service paramedics before being taken to hospital.

Half of the ground floor and the first floor of the two-storey, mid-terraced house were damaged.

The fire is believed to have been accidental, and caused by the failure of an e-bike's lithium-ion battery that had been on charge, according to the LFB.

A spokesperson warned against buying batteries online.

They said: "Many of the fires we are seeing involve batteries which have been sourced on the internet, which may not meet the correct safety standards.

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“We know that lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to failure if incorrect chargers are used, so it’s important to always use the correct charger for the product and buy an official one from a reputable seller.

“Batteries can also pose a risk if they have been damaged, so try to ensure they are not getting knocked around while in use or while being carried as spares as this can increase the chance of damage to cells. You should also not expose them to extremes of temperature."

Chargers must always be unplugged once charged, and should not be left unattended or plugged in while people are asleep, they said.

They also advised people to be careful of where batteries are stored, adding: "Electric bikes and scooters are often stored and charged in escape routes in homes or communal areas so when a fire does occur, escape routes are blocked which immediately makes an already serious situation much more frightening for those involved."

The incident also serves as a reminder to make sure smoke alarms are working said the spokesperson, as there were no smoke alarms fitted inside the house.

Crews from East Ham, Plaistow, Barking and Stratford fire stations were at the scene.