Lithium-ion battery from e-bike believed to be have sparked Potts Point hostel fire
Two French backpackers have narrowly escaped a hostel fire in Sydney after a lithium-ion battery exploded in their room.
About 70 people were evacuated from the Mad Monkey hostel in Potts Point on Wednesday morning because of the fire, which has since been extinguished.
Security footage showed one of the men standing in the hallway and talking to his friend through the doorway of the room when the fireball erupted.
His friend is then seen making a frantic dash for the door with the fire close behind him.
One of the men was taken to hospital with minor leg burns, while the other was uninjured.
It took more than 20 firefighters and six fire trucks to put out the inferno.
Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) believe the blaze may have been sparked by a faulty e-bike battery that was on charge inside the room.
Philip, who was staying at the hostel, said he was "a little shocked" after his friend's battery went up in flames.
"I'm OK and lucky to be here and intact," he said.
"It's a little bit strong-like emotion, but I'm OK now."
Hector Farraera was also staying at the hostel, and saw one of the men attempt to put out the fire with an extinguisher.
"I saw like a huge noise at the hallway, and I went out to see what happened, and then there was a French guy who was trying to get an extinguisher to get it out of the room," he said.
Scottish traveller Mark Petrie was staying on the same floor as the fire, but said he initially wasn't concerned when the fire alarm went off.
"At first you don't react which is bad. But then you start smelling smoke and then you go okay, this is our moment we should go now," he said.
"I literally just grabbed essentials, passport, phone and I had my laptop in my hand and just marched down the stairs."
It remains unclear when travellers will be allowed to return.
Solo backpacker Jannes Otto told the ABC he doesn't know where he'll stay tonight if he can't go back to his accommodation.
"I hope the hostel is ready in a few hours and I can go back. Otherwise, I'll have to find another place, that would be bad," he said.
FRNSW duty manager Grant Rice thanked the hostel's management for getting people out safely. 
"We had everyone evacuated out of that property very quickly, which did help firefighters gain entry and control that fire very quickly," he said.
"With backpackers in that area, they're not always English speaking, so management actually helped Fire and Rescue keep those people out and they'll be out for some time."
The use of lithium battery-powered products in New South Wales is increasing, and so too is the rise in house fires caused by them.
FRNSW said it had attended 149 reported battery-related incidents in 2023, a 16 per cent increase so far from last year.
Of the 149 incidents, 22 per cent involved micromobility devices, such as e-bikes and e-scooters.
The Fire Investigation Unit are working with NSW Police to investigate the fire.
Mr Rice said it was a reminder to people to charge their lithium-ion batteries carefully and there's no damage to it.
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