Father whose partner and children died in fire after e-bike battery 'exploded' calls for urgent safety measures

A grieving father whose partner and two children were killed in a fire sparked by an e-bike battery has called for urgent safety measures to be introduced.

Scott Peden, from Cambridge, lost his partner Gemma, 31, their eight-year-old daughter Lilly and four-year-old son Oliver after an e-bike battery bought online exploded and caused a fire.

The family's two dogs also died in the blaze, which left 30-year-old Mr Peden in a coma for a month and with prolonged injuries.

June marks one year since the fatal fire and Mr Peden said "life hasn't been the same since".

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

"Before the fire, I had no idea about the dangers of these lithium-ion batteries. I bought my battery online and just assumed it would be safe, I never imagined it could be so dangerous.

"The battery exploded under my stairs, whilst my family was asleep. Flames were coming up the stairs like a flamethrower.

"The fire and smoke filled the house up in seconds. I told them to jump but they couldn't get out.

"I've lost everything from that one night and my heart has been left broken."

Backed by the charity Electrical Safety First, Mr Peden is calling on all political parties to make it mandatory for manufacturers to have certification from an independent third party stating that their e-bikes, e-scooters and batteries are safe.

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

Currently, companies can self-declare their e-bikes and batteries are safe.

Similar requirements are already in place for other high-risk products like fireworks and heavy machinery.

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… we want to work with any future government to address the problem as a priority. They will have the power to save lives and prevent future heartache."

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

In March, fire crews were called to an exploding e-bike on a train platform in Sutton, London, with dramatic footage showing flaming battery cells being projected from the battery across the platform.

In Croydon, four children were among six people taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation following an e-bike fire in April that caused serious damage to their maisonette, destroying the staircase between the first and second floor.