Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) has warned people to avoid charging e-bikes and scooters overnight after a man lost his life in a house fire in Litherland. A man named locally as Rab Shearer is reported to have died at the scene with one of his sons in critical condition.
The Liverpool Echo reports that MFRS was called to the house on Daisy Mews, Litherland, at 3am on Sunday, January 8. Four fire engines attended.
Upon arrival, they found two people inside the house. A third person had managed to escape the property and raised the alarm having been woken by smoke alarms.
A joint investigation between MFRS and Merseyside Police concluded that the fire was accidental and caused by an e-bike left charging overnight. The fire rapidly took hold and spread quickly through open internal doors.
Area Manager Mark Thomas commented: “This tragedy highlights the very real risks posed by e-bikes, which we have confirmed as the source of the fire.
"We would ask that people don’t leave any electrical appliance – particularly e-bikes and scooters – charging unattended and definitely not while you are asleep when we are all at our most vulnerable. Also consider if you are leaving the bike or scooter in the way of your escape route should you need to evacuate in darkness.”
Elsewhere in the country, London Fire Brigade has repeatedly warned about the dangers of using incorrect e-bike chargers and batteries after reporting a spike in call-outs in recent months.
Echoing that advice, Thomas continued: "I would also urge people to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, only using batteries and chargers which have been supplied with the vehicle or approved by the manufacturer.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family by neighbour Natalie Kiernan.