People inside the Victoria Police headquarters on Caledonia Avenue had to evacuate the building Tuesday after an e-bike caught fire inside a bike cage.
The incident happened around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5, when “one of our staff members was alerted to a fire inside a bike cage in the building,” says VicPD media relations officer Terri Healy.
An e-bike battery is believed to have sparked the fire in VicPD headquarters, Healy told CHEK News on scene.
She says that while no one was injured, there were “quite some significant flames,” and crews from the Victoria Fire Department responded.
“It’s caused quite a bit of residual smoke in the building. But everyone was able to evacuate safely,” she said. “And luckily, our officers were able to respond quickly with fire extinguishers and knock back the flames.”
E-bikes are powered by lithium-ion batteries, and Health Canada says safety risks include overheating, fires and explosions. However, it says “they’re more easily damaged than other types of batteries and can become hazardous in certain conditions since they are more volatile.”
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According to Healy, about 100 people were inside the building at the time of the fire. She says no one was inside VicPD’s cells.
“There’s a procedure for evacuating people when they’re in our custody, but there was nobody in our cells at the time of the fire,” added Healy.
The fire is under investigation.
Health Canada has lithium-ion battery safety tips, including use, storage and charging, on its website.