Electric scooter sparks apartment fire in San Francisco

An electric scooter sparked a fire inside a San Francisco apartment building in the Tenderloin neighborhood on Monday.

The fire broke out at a four-story apartment building at 60 Leavenworth St., triggering a response from 45 firefighters.


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The San Francisco Fire Department said the cause of the fire was an electric scooter that had been charging inside one of the apartment units. Lieutenant Jonathan Baxter said an "after market" charging cable was being used to power up the scooter, which may have been a contributing factor.

That prompted San Francisco Fire captain Jonathan Baxter to put out a reminder about the potential dangers of lithium batteries when charged or used incorrectly.

"When we’re looking at the batteries, we want to make sure that they’re not overheating, that they’re not bulging, that they’re not damaged," said Baxter, who added that owners should always follow manufacturer guidelines, and avoid charging the devices under the hot sun, or indoors.  

Video from the scene shows flames coming from the window of an apartment unit.

The fire was brought under control around 12:26 p.m.

Three adults were displaced, and one person was injured while jumping from a fire escape. 

"That was probably the most startling moment. I actually look left and there’s a guy climbing down this pole right here," said tenant Henry Sanchez, who was in the middle of a Zoom job interview when the fire broke out, and raced out of the building with his interviewers still online. "Yeah, like the interview convenors are like, hey we’ll just pick this up when you can again. It just ends there."

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries.