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A man’s electric scooter’s battery exploded in the middle of the night while he slept, destroying his apartment. He said he owes his life to his loyal dog.
In the early hours of the morning on April 17, Kevin Record, 43, was asleep in his apartment on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, England, when his dog, Shogun, leaped onto the bed and woke him up. Record’s e-scooter was emitting sparks. Within seconds, the scooter’s lithium-ion battery exploded and the bedroom was engulfed in flames.
Record managed to escape the room, but not without sustaining severe burns to the right-hand side of his body. In a news release shared on Facebook, Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) confirmed that the fire caused “unimaginable damage” and left Record with life-changing injuries. Tragically, Shogun lost his life.
A recovering Record commented on the post, “My heart is broken for my hero dog, I’ll never forget what you did for me.”
“I can’t explain the speed of the fire,” Record said in a statement. “I had never seen anything like it. Within seconds, it was like a fireball that spread to everything in sight. It was like a grenade going off, just terrifying. I’m absolutely devastated by what’s happened, especially losing Shogun.”
Four KFRS fire engines responded to the apartment fire. They put out the flames but could not save any of Record’s possessions. Fire investigators concluded that the battery pack in Record’s e-scooter had overheated while charging, causing the scooter to catch fire.
KFRS crew manager Steve Smart, who attended the scene, stated, “Kevin absolutely had a lucky escape; if Shogun hadn’t woken him up, the outcome could have been very different.”
A self-described “real advocate” of electronic devices, Record said, “I’m quite into technology and thought I had a good understanding of electronics, but this just shows a fire like this can happen to anyone.”
As he recovers from his injuries, with support from family, the 43-year-old is hoping his experience will serve as a cautionary tale for anyone storing or charging e-scooters—or any devices with lithium-ion batteries—mentioning how important it is to buy these devices from reputable dealers.
Crew manager Smart recommends always charging and storing such devices in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines, only charging them while at home and awake, and unplugging them after use. They should be stowed safely away from bedrooms and escape routes, meanwhile, smoke alarms should be installed on every floor of the home.
Test them “weekly,” Smart said, adding, “It could save your life.”