Wednesday, January 19

Erik woke up to a fire: – It spilled out with black smoke

Around 02.00 on Sunday night, the apartment residents on the floors above Ryde’s warehouse in Bergen city center had to evacuate.

Around 30 batteries had caught fire, and witnesses tell of a major emergency when the fire brigade tried to get control of the electric fire.

One of them was Erik Brudvik (36), who is the closest neighbor to Ryde’s warehouse in Nygårdsgaten.

– I heard lots of sirens out in the streets, and when I ran out it was full of fire trucks and firefighters running around. I saw them open the gate to the warehouse, and then it spilled out with black smoke, says Brudvik.

SMOKE: Heavy smoke development when batteries caught fire in Ryde’s warehouse in Bergen city center. Photo: Private.

– Knocked on the squares

He himself saw open flames and firefighters who had to use a ladder to warn the sleeping people who lived in the apartments above the Ryde warehouse.

– They knocked on the windows to wake people up. It was quite dramatic, and we who were out were told to pull away because the smoke was toxic, says Brudvik.

This is the second time in four days that there is a fire in this Ryde warehouse. On Thursday, only a few batteries burned, but last night it was larger.

Fire Chief Leif Linde is cursed when TV 2 talks to him.

– This is simply untenable! We just had a fire here a few days ago, and now the exact same thing is happening again, only with much more intensity and even more batteries stored in exactly the same way. We can not have any of this, says Linde.

ANGRY: Fire Chief Leif Linde in Bergen is, to put it mildly, cursed by two warehouse fires in four days.  Photo: Tor Henning Flaatten / TV 2

ANGRY: Fire Chief Leif Linde in Bergen is, to put it mildly, cursed by two warehouse fires in four days. Photo: Tor Henning Flaatten / TV 2

Difficult to extinguish

He says it is very demanding to put out the electric fires that occur in so-called Lithium Ion batteries.

To extinguish the flames, firefighters must drown the bicycles or batteries in a tub. Normal flushing with fire hoses does not work.

– This is a new experience for the fire service. When these batteries are damaged or discharged, they can ignite spontaneously. Then you get a fire with violent intensity, and here there were many batteries that burned at the same time. The steel in the building has bent, so so far no one can move back to their apartments, says Linde.

The police inform TV 2 that they have closed the building for 24 hours, while the agencies are conducting their investigations.

They can not yet answer whether it is safe to move back again.

BATTERY FIRE: Police and fire crews are studying the thirty scooter batteries that caught fire in RYDE's garage.  Photo: Kåre Breivik / TV 2

BATTERY FIRE: Police and fire crews are studying the thirty scooter batteries that caught fire in RYDE’s garage. Photo: Kåre Breivik / TV 2

Ryde answers

TV 2 has made several attempts to get in touch with Ryde, without success.

To Bergens Tidende says general manager Thomas Balchen the following:

– The fire on Christmas Eve is the first time we had a fire in a room at all of Ryde’s locations. Now it has happened twice in a short time. We will solve the acute challenges and get rid of the non-functional batteries as soon as possible, and will cooperate with the fire service and other actors.

Fire Chief Linde clearly states that the electric scooter player must find other ways to store particularly damaged batteries.

– Now they must understand the seriousness, and not wait for there to be legal changes.

FIRST FIRE: This is what it looked like inside the warehouse premises after the fire on Christmas Eve.  Photo: Pål S. Schaathun / TV 2.

FIRST FIRE: This is what it looked like inside the warehouse premises after the fire on Christmas Eve. Photo: Pål S. Schaathun / TV 2.

Clear wish

Brudvik says the neighbors have been in conflict with Ryde for a long time, especially due to noise.

The fires are exacerbating the situation, and now he also hopes that Ryde realizes the seriousness and puts people’s lives and health before profit.

– They should find a warehouse outside the city center, so that we do not have serious accidents, he says.

Reference-www.tv2.no

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