MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (WJMN) – Authorities on Mackinac island have announced the ban of e-bikes from fire and police department buildings.
In an announcement on Facebook by Chief of Police, Doug Topolski, he says a recent house fire on the island is believed to have been caused by an exploding e-bike battery. Multiple firefighters were injured in the incident and had to be hospitalized.
Topolski announced both the police and fire departments are urging residents, visitors, and employers to make sure e-bike and e-bike batteries are not kept indoors.
According to the post from Chief Topolski, “The recent fire had the very real potential to be catastrophic to the residential area occupied by full-time island residents and seasonal employees. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that a fire of this nature could pose an existential threat to many island businesses and historic buildings had it occurred un-noticed in the downtown area. According to Fire Chief St. Onge, although data is still being collected on the threat posed by ebike batteries, there is a good deal of evidence to suggest that malfunctioning batteries present an omnipresent danger.”
Chief Topolski wrote he expects other municipal departments to follow with a similar ban. He also wrote that Management of the Grand Hotel has banned e-bikes from hotel buildings and employee housing, as well as being barred from school buildings by the school board.