HAMPSTEAD, Md. (BRAIN) — Maryland fire investigators say a 25-year-old man assembling a do-it-yourself e-bike caused a fire that destroyed a house. No one was injured in the fire, which started Sunday afternoon.
According to the Maryland State Fire Marshal, Robert Floto was loading lithium-ion batteries into the bike's battery pack when two of the lithium battery terminals touched, creating an explosion that caused other batteries to explode and ignite nearby combustibles.
"Robert Floto was able to push the bike out the rear door to the exterior. Floto and his father attempted to extinguish the fire with multiple fire extinguishers; however the fire quickly spread throughout the room and into the house. Investigators consider the home a total loss," investigators said.
They said the three-level single-family home structure was valued at $175,000 and the home's contents were worth $50,000.
The two-alarm fire took firefighters about 50 minutes to control.