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Fire blamed on scooter battery kills 8-year-old girl in NYC

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NEW YORK (AP) — An electric scooter battery sparked a fire that killed an 8-year-old girl in New York City, authorities said. The death of Stephanie Villa Torres on Saturday was at least the third time in a little over a year that a fatal fire in the city has been linked to a scooter battery.

Saturday’s fire was reported around 7:30 a.m. at a home in Queens, a police spokesperson said. Stephanie was found unresponsive and was pronounced dead at a hospital. The girl’s father and 18-year-old brother were treated for burns and smoke inhalation, officials said.

A fire department spokesperson said the blaze was caused by a lithium battery from an electric scooter — one of scores of fires blamed on electric scooter and bike batteries in New York City over the past two years.

A woman and a 5-year-old girl were killed Aug. 3 in Harlem by a fire that was blamed on a scooter battery, and a fire linked to an e-scooter killed a 9-year-old boy in Queens in September 2021.

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