Hoverboard catches fire in Weston apartment

WESTON, Fla. (WSVN) — Another toy Hoverboard has ignited a fire. This time, it was in the center of a family’s apartment.

According to the Broward Sheriff’s Fire Rescue, just before 2 p.m., Thursday, a Hoverboard burst into flames inside an apartment located at 100 Lakeview Drive. According to the homeowners, the Hoverboard was a knockoff purchased for $400 online from China, and was not a brand name Hoverboard.

Homeowners said a 12-year-old was using the Hoverboard when the battery died, so he plugged it into a power outlet. After Hoverboard charged for about an hour on a tile floor inside the apartment, it suddenly exploded and then melted.

Ashes and pieces of melted plastic covered the floor as the homeowners panicked. “A big blast! And the kid screaming and the grandmother was screaming,” said Anjum Khurshid, a neighbor. “I said, ‘What happened?’ and they said, ‘Oh, Ma’am, it’s a fire! It’s a fire!”‘

Electrician Syed Rizvi was working two doors away when he heard the commotion and ran inside the apartment. “I see this thing is flaming, so I unplugged it,” he said.

Fire officials said it’s likely the battery became overheated. The family bought the hoverboard online from China. It had no company brand name or seal of approval from an independent lab.

“It’s unfortunate that somebody, whether it was somebody in the house or somebody who was assisting, tried to put water on this,” said Broward Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Mike Jachles. “Not a good idea with electrical fires. It pretty much was an explosion, and it self-extinguished.”

Fortunately, nobody was hurt, and the fire self-contained.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Captain Greg May urged residents to use caution with the hoverboards.

Jachles said residents should be careful when charging electronic devices. “The other thing is, when you’re charging any electronic device, you shouldn’t plug it in and charge it as soon as that battery depletes,” Jachles said. “Because that battery may be hot. Let it reach room temperature before you charge it. Another thing is, don’t let it charge indefinitely.”

Officials advise those looking to purchase a Hoverboard to make sure it is of the Hoverboard brand or a recognized brand as well as a label on it that states it has been tested in a laboratory. Accidents like these have happened at least 50 times as of the end of 2015.

Polly Vernon of Maniacs Hobby shop said incidents like these should raise awareness about purchasing the right products.

“Quite honestly it’s gonna start getting more awareness out to other people about the importance of buying from reputable retailers,” Vernon said.

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