Home Entertainment FDNY marshals makes first ever lithium-ion battery violation arrest at Brooklyn storefront

FDNY marshals makes first ever lithium-ion battery violation arrest at Brooklyn storefront

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Suspect arrested in Brooklyn for improper lithium-ion battery storage

Tian Liang Liu was arrested by fire marshals

FDNY

A Brooklyn merchant wound up in fire marshals’ handcuffs for improper storage of highly-flammable lithium-ion batteries inside his business — the first arrest of its kind ever reported in New York City, FDNY officials announced Monday.

Tian Liang Liu, of the Electric Bicycle Shop at 1239 Flatbush Ave., was taken into custody on April 12 in a rare criminal action by the FDNY. Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh outlined the details of the arrest during a Monday press conference at the FDNY’s MetroTech headquarters in Downtown Brooklyn.

“The FDNY E-safety task force made up of the Bureau of Fire prevention, our Special Investigations Unit, and Fire Investigations conducted an inspection,” Commissioner Kavanagh explained. “Fire marshals arrested Tian Liang Liu and brought him to the 70th Precinct to be charged.”

The arrest occurred, Kavanagh noted, on the fourth visit fire marshals made at the Flatbush repair stop after three previous inspections dating back to last September over improper battery storage. According to FDNY brass, the department issued summonses in September before returning in January and then again earlier in April before finally making the arrest on Friday. 

The fire code violations included improper storage of batteries as well as selling E-bikes without certification. The FDNY says that uncertified lithium-ion batteries have the potential to randomly explode, causing a massive fireball.

The fire code violations included improper storage of batteries as well as selling E-bikes without certification. The FDNY says that uncertified lithium-ion batteries have the potential to randomly explode, causing a massive fireball.FDNY

Despite the violations and stern warnings, officials said, Liu allegedly made no changes to the way in which he was storing and charging lithium-ion batteries.

“This is the fourth time we were there, and they’ve made no changes whatsoever to make their behavior better. So, that’s the reason why this rose to that level where it required an arrest,” Chief Fire Marshal Dan Flynn said.

“This weekend as an example: there were five fires involving lithium-ion batteries. There were 10 in the last week. The problem isn’t going away,” Kavanagh said.Photo by Dean Moses

“This weekend as an example: there were five fires involving lithium-ion batteries. There were 10 in the last week. The problem isn’t going away,” Kavanagh said.

Liu is charged with reckless endangerment. The FDNY also issued a criminal summons for charging and storing more than five batteries. The store housed about 15 batteries inside of the building. 

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