Fire trucks attending on scene with fire fighters huddling together

Modified e-bike causes SRO building fire

February 22 2024 –

Vancouver Fire Rescue Services responded to 166 E Hastings Street this morning at 3:26am for a fire in an single room occupancy building. On arrival, the fire alarm was activated, there was heavy smoke on the 3rd floor, and the sprinkler system activated. Firefighters found an e-bike that caught on fire inside a unit and extinguished the fire. 

Fire investigators determined that the modified charging system caused the battery to explosively fail and catch on fire. There were no injuries as a result, but there was damage from the heat, flames, smoke, and water from the sprinkler activation. 

This is a reminder to:

  • Never modify any component of an e-mobility device, including the hardware or software components. Changing any component can affect the battery, causing overheating and potential battery explosions or fire. 
  • Only use batteries from the original manufacturer, never cheaper alternatives.
  • Plug directly into a wall outlet, not a power bar.
  • Never leave batteries charging unattended or overnight.
  • Do not store e-mobility devices inside units if possible. 
  • Dispose of batteries at recycling centers, never in the garbage.