A Southeastern Pennsylvania family is fortunate to have a home after a hoverboard given to an 8-year-old girl as a gift exploded Tuesday night and set fire to her room.
According to the Lebanon Daily News, the girl received the hoverboard from her father on Tuesday. He paid $500 for it from a New Jersey vendor.
On Tuesday night the girl took the hoverboard out of the box and plugged it in to charge it for the first time. Shortly after 10 p.m. fire started flaring from the device. The girl was in her room when the hoverboard started to combust and ran to get her mother, who tossed a blanket over the device and threw it out of a second story window. She then went outside and put out the flames with the help of a neighbor’s fire extinguisher.
The Lebanon Daily News spoke with the city’s fire commissioner, Duane Trautman, about the incident.
“When it burst into flames, they shot up two or three feet, and the heat was so intense that several of the lithium-ion batteries that power the machine exploded,” the Daily News reported, citing Comm. Trautman. The fire damaged the immediate area where the device was charging, including the floor and a dresser. There was also some smoke damage but nobody was injured, the Daily News reported.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has investigated about 100 hoverboard fire incidents in the last several months, including several cases that caused personal injury.
On July 6, the agency issued a nationwide recall of half a million of the self-balancing mobile devices. The recall encompassed 10 different brand names sold by 10 different manufacturers, including two in New Jersey.
Comm. Trautman took the charred device and the box it came in. He said the CPSC indicated it would send someone to get the device.
According to the Daily News, the single word “Smart” is displayed on the box and there is a “Made in China” stamp on its side. A company named Smart sells several different hoverboard models online, but the brand name isn’t on the CPSC’s recall list.