The New York City Fire Department said that 18 children were injured after a lithium-ion battery started a fire at a basement daycare center in Queens.
Firefighters responded to the blaze at a two-story single-family home on Wednesday afternoon. The fire was extinguished within 40 minutes and was confined to the basement. They rescued 18 children from the house. One of the children, who was pulled from the cellar, was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, while the other 17 were in stable condition and refused treatment at the scene.
While officials have not released the ages of the children, photos taken by the New York Post show several young children sitting with adults on ambulances outside of the home.
Inspectors found that in addition to the daycare center, a dental lab was also being illegally operated in the basement of the building. The NYC Department of Buildings issued violations for doing construction without a permit and for using the basement for purposes "contrary to city records."
"In the interest of public safety, and due to the severe extent of the damage from the fire, we issued a Full Vacate Order for the building," a spokesperson for the department said.