Hoverboard explodes, sparks Northern Kentucky house fire

Hoverboard sparks Northern Ky. house fire
Posted at 9:40 AM, Sep 21, 2016

FLORENCE, Ky. -- A hoverboard exploded Tuesday night, setting a Florence home on fire.

Firefighters found heavy smoking coming from the home on MacIntosh Lane at about 9:30 p.m. They quickly put out the fire, which was contained to the living room.

Dane Hessling said his son's hoverboard started to make a clicking noise as it was charging, so he picked it up to throw it outside. It was too late, and the toy exploded in his hands.

"It was like fireworks going off in my house," Hessling said.

He said the fire spread through the carpet, ruining baby pictures and leaving walls covered in soot.

No one was injured. Hessling said it will cost about $15,000 to fix all the damage.

"We rescued our English bulldog and our mutt, and we had to run back in to grab his gecko and his turtle," Hessling said.

The family has a second hoverboard, which Hessling said would go in the trash.

"I would never, ever, ever let anyone in my family put one in the house again," Hessling said.

Over the summer, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled more than 500,000 hoverboards after dozens of reports of fires and spewing smoke.

Hoverboards were a hot item during the 2015 holiday season, but videos and photos of hoverboards on fire were soon teeming on the internet. The CPSC warned makers and retailers of the two-wheel motorized scooters earlier this year that they were required to follow newly-created safety requirements or face recalls. Many airlines, railroads and college campuses have already banned hoverboards citing safety risks.

"If you have a hoverboard and it's swollen or smoking or has a smell to it -- if you bump that hover board, if you damage that battery when you charge it, it can burst into flames," Cincinnati Fire Lt. Maurice Vassar said. "In fact, charging is the big issue when it comes to hoverboards."

The toys should never be charged at night, Vassar said, and he also recommends people avoid cheap hoverboards -- because cheaper products mean a cheaper battery and a higher chance of a mishap.