Indian national dies in fire incident in Manhattan residential building

26 February,2024 03:54 PM IST |  New York  |  PTI

A 27-year-old Indian national, who worked as a journalist here, tragically lost his life in a devastating fire caused by a lithium-ion battery in an apartment building in Manhattan

Representational Picture/iStock

A 27-year-old Indian national, who worked as a journalist here, tragically lost his life in a "devastating" fire caused by a lithium-ion battery in an apartment building in Manhattan.

Fazil Khan was killed in the fire that broke out in a six-story residential building at 2 St. Nicholas Place in Harlem, Manhattan that left about 17 other people injured.

The New York City Fire Department said that its marshals have determined that the "devastating" fire was caused by a lithium-ion battery.

Khan is a journalist with New York-based media company The Hechinger Report, which is focused on innovation and inequality in education.

The Consulate General of India in New York expressed condolences on Khan's death and said it is extending all possible assistance to repatriate his mortal remains to his family in India.

"Saddened to learn about the death of 27-year old Indian national Fazil Khan in an unfortunate fire incident in Harlem, NY," the Consulate said in a post on X Saturday.

The Consulate said it is in touch with Khan's family and friends.

"We continue to extend all possible assistance in repatriation of his mortal remains to India," the Consulate said.

Khan was a data reporter at The Hechinger Report and according to his profile on X, he was an alumnus of Columbia Journalism School.

The Hechinger Report said in a post on X that it learned Saturday that Khan died in a fire in the New York City building where he lived.

"We are devastated by the loss of such a great colleague and wonderful person, and our hearts go out to his family. He will be dearly missed," it said.

Firefighters said the fire originated in the building's 3rd floor. At 2:14 pm Friday, the FDNY responded to the 2-alarm fire at 2 St. Nicholas Place in Harlem. Firefighters arrived within minutes to find people on the fire escape. People were also seen hanging out the windows on the fifth floor, the fire department said. Victims were trapped on the 5th floor of the building.

The fire department had said that there were a total of 18 patients, out of which four were in critical condition.

Joseph Pfeifer, the Fire Department's first deputy commissioner, had said Friday that one person was in critical condition at the scene but died at the hospital. At the time, the victim's identity had not been released.

The fire department said that fires caused by lithium-ion batteries have increased dramatically in New York City with deadly consequences.

These rechargeable batteries are found in electric bikes and scooters, cars, laptops, tablets, phones and common household devices. Lithium-ion battery fires have caused deaths, serious injuries and devastating damage to property around the city, the department said on its website.

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