A mother and son are in hospital after leaping from windows to escape an e-bike battery fire in east London.
Most of the three-storey home in Hackney was destroyed by the blaze, London Fire Brigade (LFB) said.
The mother was seriously injured after jumping from the second floor and her adult son, who leapt from the first floor, suffered an unspecified injury.
They were forced to escape out of windows because the e-bike that had caught fire was at the bottom of a staircase leading to the ground floor, blocking their exit route.
Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters responded to the blaze on King Edward’s Road, Hackney shortly after 3am on Thursday. It took nearly two hours to bring the fire under control.
LFB assistant commissioner for fire safety Charlie Pugsley said: “This was a devastating fire that has destroyed a home and is a prime example of why the brigade has been running its #ChargeSafe awareness campaign.
“A mother and son who were inside the home when the fire occurred had no choice but to leap from windows because their escape route was blocked.
“If you own an e-bike or e-scooter, do not store or charge it on an escape route such as a hallway. If you can’t keep it outside, put it in a room where you can shut a door and contain a fire.”
Lithium battery fires can spread rapidly and produce a toxic vapour.
Thursday’s blaze comes just days after a charging e-bike battery pack caught fire in the living room of a flat in Harringay, north London, which caused a teenager to suffer burns.
In London so far this year there have been 150 e-bike fires and 28 e-scooter fires, LFB said.
The combined total is 53% above the figure for the whole of last year and makes them “the capital’s fastest-growing fire trend”, according to the brigade.
Three people have died and around 60 people have been hurt in the fires this year. LFB believes there is a lack of safety standards for e-bikes and e-scooters.
Assistant commissioner Pugsley said: “From our investigations, we know many of the fires we’ve attended have involved second-hand vehicles, the use of incorrect chargers, or the bike has been modified using parts bought online.
“If you’re thinking about buying one of these vehicles as a gift for a loved one for Christmas, please make sure you’re buying it, or parts for them – like batteries, conversion kits or chargers – from a reputable seller.
“If you receive one for Christmas, or you already own an e-bike or e-scooter, make sure you’re using the correct charger, you’re not overcharging, and that you don’t tamper with or modify the battery pack.
“Keep it well away from an escape route and store or charge the vehicle outside if possible.”
A recent survey for Electrical Safety First indicated that 52% of people planned to do the majority of their Christmas shopping for electronics via online marketplaces in an effort to cut costs.
The charity warned this could leave people at risk as “ruthless sellers” look to “cash in on Christmas at the expense of shoppers’ safety”.