OHS Canada Magazine

Toronto fire chief warns of lithium ion batteries’ risks after e-bike fire on subway

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January 3, 2024
By The Canadian Press

Health & Safety Fire Subway toronto TTC

A Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) sign at a subway station. Photo: Atomazul/Adobe Stock

Toronto’s fire chief says fires sparked by lithium-ion batteries are a growing concern after a recent blaze aboard a subway train showed how quickly flames sparked by a faulty battery can spread.

Videos posted on social media showed flames raging inside a Toronto subway train, with smoke billowing from a train car, on New Year’s Eve.

Fire Chief Matthew Pegg says that fire was caused by the failure of a lithium-ion battery powering an e-bike and was put out by fire crews on Sunday afternoon.

He says one person was hurt and treated for non-life-threatening injuries by paramedics.

Pegg says faulty batteries are causing more fires in Toronto, with 55 fires in the city last year that resulted from the failure of lithium-ion batteries, up from 29 such fires in 2022.


Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable batteries used in electric cars, e-bikes, laptop computers and cellphones, as well as other electronics.

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