world : Man who lost family in fire: 'I feel like my life has ended'

world : Man who lost family in fire: 'I feel like my life has ended'
world : Man who lost family in fire: 'I feel like my life has ended'

Wednesday 12 June 2024 10:54 PM

Nafeza 2 world - A father has called for urgent safety measures as he approaches the anniversary of the death of his partner and two children in a fire caused by an e-bike battery.

Scott Peden's girlfriend Gemma Germeney, 31, and their children Lilly, eight, and Oliver, four, died in the blaze after a battery exploded at their Cambridge home on 30 June.

He is backing charity Electrical Safety First's campaign for the introduction of independent third-party certification for e-bikes, e-scooters and their batteries.

Mr Peden said: "If my story doesn't show the desperate need for a change in regulation, then I don't know what will."

"June marks one year since I lost my partner and two children in an e-bike fire at my home and life hasn't been the same since," he said.

"I feel like my life has ended and I don't know how to move on."

Lesley Rudd, chief executive of Electrical Safety First, said: "Right across the country people are dying because of these fires, and people like Scott are left living with the grief and devastation.

"Legislation is desperately needed and time is of the essence."

At present, manufacturers can self-declare their e-bikes and batteries are safe.

The charity's call for independent third-party certification for the batteries, external is in line with similar requirements already in place for other high-risk products, such as fireworks and heavy machinery.

Mr Peden said he had no idea about the dangers of lithium-ion batteries before the blaze.

He had bought the replacement e-bike battery online weeks before the blaze, after his was stolen, and he placed it to charge overnight under the stairs.

Mr Peden recalled the sheer intensity of the fire.

"Flames were coming up the stairs like a flamethrower. The fire and smoke filled the house up in seconds," he said.

He jumped out the window and tried to fight the fire outside, suffering multiple burns and breaking his ankle, while his partner tried get the children to safety.

The blaze left Mr Peden in a coma for a month and with prolonged injuries.

Last year, 11 people lost their lives to fires involving e-bikes and e-scooters, with hundreds injured as a result of the fires caused by the lithium-ion batteries.

"I'm urging all the political parties to come together to tackle the issue of e-bike fires so that no-one has to go through what I did," said Mr Peden.

"My life has been ruined but I can help to save someone else's."

The government's Office of Product Safety & Standards has published information for consumers, external, to raise awareness around the safe purchasing, use and charging of e-bikes and e-scooters.

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