Fire at Broadbeach Waters house could have been caused by lithium battery

Devastating moment elderly couple’s luxury Gold Coast home goes up in flames as investigations begin into whether another exploding e-bike battery is to blame

  • Gold Coast waterfront property burned to the ground 
  • The occupants managed to escape uninjured 
  • E-bike or e-scooter left to charge is being investigated as a cause

An elderly couple’s luxury waterfront home has been razed by a fire towering three-storeys high that is understood to have been sparked by a lithium battery. 

The $1.65million house on Nootka Court in Broadbeach Waters on the Gold Coast was engulfed by the blaze about 11am Wednesday – with the two occupants thankfully able to escape uninjured.

Emergency services were called by neighbours who noticed thick black smoke pouring from the property.

Firefighters were able to bring the flames under control by 2.15pm and extinguish the blaze by 3.20pm.

Footage shows a man believed to be the owner run back into the house to save the couple’s cats while his partner worriedly paces the front yard across the street as residents attempt to console her. 

The blaze quickly engulfed the luxury waterfront property on the Gold Coast (pictured)

The blaze quickly engulfed the luxury waterfront property on the Gold Coast (pictured)

Neighbours saw the black smoke (pictured)

Neighbours saw the black smoke (pictured)

Queensland Fire and Rescue Senior Firefighter Ty Hopson told reporters the fire had spread into a neighbouring property causing some damage and a car parked in the driveway was also destroyed. 

‘We have four pumps on hand, two specialist appliances and your senior officers totalling 21 personnel,’ he said.

An investigation is underway into what triggered the blaze and QFES is yet to confirm the cause. 

It is believed the source of the fire was a battery for an electric e-bicycle or e-scooter being charged in the garage. 

On the footage, neighbours across the street can be heard commenting on the heat the flames were putting out and how the glass doors on the neighbouring property were bending and bulging. 

Various pops, shatters and explosions can be heard as the fire rages. 

One neighbour Russell Barth was out mowing his lawn when he saw the smoke.

It took firefighters hours to bring the blaze under control (pictured), believed to have been sparked by a battery charging in the garage

It took firefighters hours to bring the blaze under control (pictured), believed to have been sparked by a battery charging in the garage

‘We (he and another resident) raced over and the lady who owns it tried to put the hose onto it and within a minute it went to about 10-foot high.’ he told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

‘It was just crazy. Within 2-3 minutes it was up to the whole house.’

‘He (the owner) rushed out and said his cats were inside and he went back in to get them,’ Mr Barth said.

Mr Barth added another resident heard something sparking and hissing before the fire broke out.

There is increasing scrutiny over e-bikes and e-scooters with thousands of their lithium batteries catching fire across the globe in recent years.

In Australia more than 450 fires have been linked to lithium batteries in the last 18 months and in Queensland alone there have been 72 since 2021. 

A HISTORY OF EXPLODING E-BIKES

Between 2013 and 2017 – More than 10,000 e-bike fires are reported in China. 

January 2019 – An e-bike catches fire in the Adelaide Hills.

July 2019 – A Lyft e-bike catches fire at the University of California Berkeley Campus, followed by more in the city and nearby San Jose.

August 14, 2019- a Lime e-bike battery pack caught fire in a Seattle warehouse while another Lime e-bike went up in flames on the University of Washington campus.

March 2021 – a Sydney house was destroyed by a fire sparked by an e-bike left to charge. 

August 2022 – an e-bike explodes inside an Adelaide house. 

October 2022 – Ancheer recalls 22,000 e-bikes over battery fire concerns. 

November 2022 – New York Fire Department confirms there have been at least 200 e-bike fires in the city for the year. 

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