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Cambridge father whose partner and children died in fire calls for urgent e-bike safety measures





A grieving father has called for urgent e-bike safety measures one year after losing his partner and two children in a fire.

Scott Peden, 30, from Cambridge, lost his partner Gemma, 31, and their children Lilly, eight, and Oliver, four, during a fire at a maisonette on Sackville Close, King’s Hedges, caused by an e-bike battery bought online.

The family’s two dogs also died in the blaze, which left Scott in a coma for a month and with prolonged injuries.

The scene of the fatal fire on Sackville Close, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell
The scene of the fatal fire on Sackville Close, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

Mr Peden, backed by the charity Electrical Safety First, is calling on all political parties to commit to introducing safety laws to prevent further tragedies.

He said: “June marks one year since I lost my partner and two children in an e-bike fire at my home last summer and life hasn’t been the same since. I feel like my life has ended and I don’t know how to move on.

“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.

Scott Peden, holding a photo of his children Lilly, eight, and Oliver, four, who died in a fire caused by an e-bike battery exploding (Scott Peden/PA)
Scott Peden, holding a photo of his children Lilly, eight, and Oliver, four, who died in a fire caused by an e-bike battery exploding (Scott Peden/PA)

“If my story doesn’t show the desperate need for a change in regulation, then I don’t know what will. 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. My life has been ruined but I can help to save someone else’s.”

Electrical Safety First has called for the introduction of independent third-party certification for e-bikes, e-scooters and their batteries.

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

The recommendations were first outlined last year in the charity’s report “Battery Breakdown”, the first report of its kind to assess the growing risk of e-bike and e-scooter fires and propose solutions to reduce the risk to lives.

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

The scene of the fire in Sackville Close Picture: Keith Heppell
The scene of the fire in Sackville Close Picture: Keith Heppell

Electrical Safety First chief executive Lesley Rudd 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 owe it to those who have lost their lives to ensure we do all we can to prevent further tragedies.

“All political parties must to come together to tackle this issue and 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.”

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.




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