SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Three people were injured last week in an apartment fire caused by a malfunctioning electric bike battery.

Three People Injured In Santa Cruz Apartment FireFire crews were called to an apartment complex on Grant Street around 3:30 p.m. April 30 after reports that an e-bike had burst into flames in one of the buildings. The fire then spread to the structure, leading residents of all four of the building’s units to be evacuated.

Two residents were transported to the hospital with burn injuries and are in stable condition. A woman who lived in a neighboring building and tried to put out the fire with a garden hose suffered minor burn injuries and received medical treatment.

“Burns are complex injuries,” said Brett Schreiber, a partner at Singleton Schreiber and the leader of the firm’s personal injury practice. “Even when they appear mild, they can be hiding more serious injuries under the surface. That’s why they require specialized treatment, which can come with higher medical bills.”

“If you’ve been burned in a fire incident, it may be a good idea to meet with a personal injury attorney. An attorney will help you review what legal options you might have to cover the damages you or your loved ones have suffered.”

In addition to the injuries, fire crews estimated a total of $1 million in damages to the units in the building that burned, all of which were deemed to be currently unlivable due to water and smoke damage.

Electrical Fires: A Growing Concern

Residential fires caused by electrical malfunction have been on a steady rise in the U.S. Data compiled by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) shows that in the decade from 2012 to 2021, electrical malfunction fires rose by 11%, with more than 24,000 such fires in 2021.

And while those fires turn out deadly less often (17% fewer deaths), they injure more people and lead to significantly more financial damage. In fact, the annual total dollar loss spiked by 27% over that decade, even after adjusting for inflation. Electrical fires in U.S. residential buildings cause well over $1 billion in damage per year, and climbed as high as $1.3 billion in 2019 — in part due to a fire at a hotel construction site in New Orleans that caused over $26 million in damage and killed three people.

If you or a loved one has been burned in a residential fire, contact Singleton Schreiber by email at