Video emerges showing firefighters tackling burning Voi e-scooter in Bristol

Voi UK temporarily stopped its long-term rental scooter scheme following the incident in Gloucester Road
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A video has emerged showing firefighters hosing down a Voi UK e-scooter after it started burning in a man’s home.

Rental user Tiernan Power took the scooter outside and then called 999 after smoke ‘burst out’ and began to ‘engulf the whole area’.

The incident happened on Gloucester Road, near to The Cider Press, at around 6pm on December 4 - a Saturday night when many people were around.

It resulted in Voi temporally stopping the use of long-term rental scooters - but the service is expected to resume completely next week following an investigation.

Mr Power, aged 21, a software engineering student at the University of West of England, had been a long-term rental customer of Voi for around a year.

He kept his designated scooter, which he paid £35 a month for, in the hallway to his home which he shares with five other people.

Fire crews hosed down the Voi scooter for two hours after it started burningFire crews hosed down the Voi scooter for two hours after it started burning
Fire crews hosed down the Voi scooter for two hours after it started burning

Recalling the incident, he said: “I live on the top floor and everyone else was out, and I came downstairs to go to the shop when I noticed a light on the scooter.

“I took a closer look and there was a smell of burning with a small bit of smoke coming out of it, so I took the scooter outside the front door.

“A couple of minutes later, smoke burst out and I called 999.

“There were burning fumes and smoke had began to engulf the whole area, which was crazy as it was a busy time on a Saturday night on Gloucester Road.”

Fire crews detach the e-scooter to make it safe during the call-out on December 4Fire crews detach the e-scooter to make it safe during the call-out on December 4
Fire crews detach the e-scooter to make it safe during the call-out on December 4

Firefighters from Avon and Fire Rescue Service arrived and spent more than two hours hosing down the e-scooter.

A hazardous substance team was also deployed to dispose of the smoking battery.

It is believed that an electrical fault had caused the lithium battery on the scooter to begin burning.

Mr Power said: “The crews said they’d never seen anything like it before, and that I was lucky to have spotted it when I did.

“The scooter was in the only place of exit from the house.”

The e-scooter covered in smoke before fire crews arriveThe e-scooter covered in smoke before fire crews arrive
The e-scooter covered in smoke before fire crews arrive

Mr Power received a call the next day from the general manager at Voi UK, Jack Samler - but the student has not yet decided on getting a replacement scooter.

The long-term rental scheme, different to the ‘hop on and hop off’ e-scooters, see users rent their own, personal scooter which they can keep in their home.

However, following the incident, all users in the city were informed and asked to keep their e-scooters outside as a pre-caution, said a Voi spokesperson.

In a statement, the company said: “The long-term rental service is back up and running and we are expecting it to be 80% tomorrow and 100% by next week - all affected users have been informed.

“The service was only temporarily stopped as a result of this smoking scooter but following our investigation, the service resumed pretty quickly.

“We’re expecting the service to be 100% for next week, so many are already riding the long-term rental service but a few are still keeping their e-scooters outside until they are ready to go.”

Voi e-scooters are available for hire through a trial led by the West of England Combined Authority which has been extended until March.

Last month, the trial was extended until March 2022. The scheme commenced in a bid to help reduce cars on the road.

This week, Transport for London (TfL) banned e-scooters from public transport in London after the battery to one scooter exploded last month.

A safety review carried out by TfL found the fires were caused by faulty third-party lithium batteries.

The move has been backed by the London Fire Brigade which was called to more than 50 blazes involving e-scooters and e-bikes this year.