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E-scooter fire at Southbank apartment complex

E-scooter fire at Southbank apartment complex
Brendan Rees

A man has been taken to hospital after an electric scooter caught fire at an apartment complex in Southbank, causing dozens of residents to be evacuated.

Emergency services were called to Coventry St about 8.15am on December 19 following reports of a fire which is believed to have been triggered by a charger containing lithium-ion batteries, however, Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) confirmed it was investigating the exact cause.

Sixty residents were evacuated as 18 firefighters fought the blaze, which was brought under control within 12 minutes.

Ambulance Victoria confirmed a man in his 40s with upper body injuries after suffering burns was taken to The Alfred Hospital in a stable condition, while a woman in her 30s was assessed at the scene, but no emergency treatment or transport was required.

FRV said residents were able to return to the building within less than an hour.

"Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire quickly, but the 11th level of the apartment complex sustained heavy smoke logging, causing the evacuation of 60 residents from that level," a FRV statement said.

"Firefighters were able to ventilate the area and allow all occupants back into the building shortly after 9am."

FRV advised people to always buy products from reputable suppliers, and only use chargers and cords that are supplied with the device. 

Devices containing lithium-ion batteries include laptop computers, mobile phones, children’s toys, e-scooters and e-cigarettes.

Other safety advice from FRV included:

  • Only charge batteries on non-combustible surfaces in a room where a smoke alarm is present. 
  • Don’t modify or tamper with the batteries and the appliances they power. 
  • Don’t leave batteries charging in direct sunlight or for longer than they need to.
  • Only charge batteries on non-combustible surfaces in a room where a smoke alarm is present. 
  • Don’t use batteries or devices that show signs of swelling, bulging, leaking or overheating.
  • Don’t charge items close to a door, which would block your exit if the item did catch fire.
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