A lithium-ion battery sparked a fire that damaged the LB Social...

A lithium-ion battery sparked a fire that damaged the LB Social restaurant and Verizon store in Long Beach on Monday evening, according to a Long Beach fire official. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

A Monday evening fire caused smoke, fire and water damage to a building housing a Verizon store and the restaurant LB Social on West Park Avenue in Long Beach, Long Beach Fire Department Chief Scott Kemins said.

The building was unoccupied at the time and no one was injured in the blaze, Kemins said Tuesday.

Officials initially said the fire was caused by an overheated lithium-ion battery in a laptop computer that was being charged. But Nassau County Chief Fire Marshal Michael F. Uttaro said an investigation determined the battery ignited as a result of the fire — and was not the cause.

The fire was reported via an automatic alarm in the restaurant at 62 W. Park at 7:03 p.m. He said firefighters arrived on scene to find "nothing visible."
After contacting the restaurant owner and gaining access to the building, Kemins said firefighters found "an odor of smoke and haze" and then located a fire underway in a second-floor location under renovation. The restaurant and phone store both are tenants in the building, which is listed at 60 and 62 W. Park, Kemins said.

“What they’re [the Nassau Fire Marshal's Office] saying is that the fire started as an electrical fire — and that the fire ignited the battery,” Kemins said. “That obviously contributed to the fire, the battery igniting. But, the investigation showed it’s not the cause.”

"The timing worked on this one," Kemins said, noting that the automatic alarm meant responders were alerted before the fire could be reported by a witness. "If they didn't have that automatic fire alarm and it turns out this isn't reported until one or two in the morning, well … It would've been far worse."

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