Electric bike battery fire destroys Florida bike shop

The interior of Andante Bikes, a longtime Florida bicycle shop, was destroyed by a fire started by an e-bike battery left unattended, our sister publication Bicycle Retailer reported.

The fire started after the store closed on April 9. The guilty bike, said shop owner Mauricio Orozco, was made about two years ago and sold last December, but was returned by the customer two days later when the battery failed to charge. The store sent the battery to a company in Nevada to be rebuilt. After receiving the rebuilt battery, the store let the battery charge overnight. Instead of recharging properly, it caught fire.

No injuries were reported, but the fire destroyed much of the store’s merchandise, as well as the interior of the store itself.

The store’s insurance doesn’t cover the damage, so Orozco launched a GoFundMe to rebuild after the massive loss. As of this writing, the fundraiser has raised $11,987 of its $75,000 goal.

According to experts, lithium-ion batteries can potentially catch fire and should not be left unattended while charging. Inexpensive batteries are more likely to pose risks because manufacturing defects are more common than in high-end products.

More information is available on lithium battery safety in this BRAIN article and this e-bike battery charging guide.

An incident report on the Andante Bikes fire is expected to be available on Friday.