California man David Carpenter and his wife purchased their daughter a hoverboard on Amazon for Christmas. Less than two months later, their two dogs were dead.
On January 19, the Carpenters home suddenly burst into flames. The Santa Rosa Fire Department traced the source to the daughter’s room where the hoverboard was charging. The family’s two dogs, Bella and Boo, perished in the blaze. “Bella was lying in her bed and Boo was laying next to her," Carpenter tearfully told KTVU.
"The cause of the fire last week in Santa Rosa, California, was a result of a malfunction of a hoverboard that was plugged in and charging," Scott Moon, Division Chief Fire Marshal, confirmed to AKC. This incident is the 40th fire in the United States caused by the motorized skateboards, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The day after the Carpenter’s home caught fire, CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye released a statement regarding the toys. “At CPSC, our investigators and engineers continue to work diligently to find the root cause of the hoverboard fires that have occurred throughout the country,” he says, adding that they are focusing on the “the components of the lithium-ion battery packs as well as their interaction with the circuit boards inside the units.”
In the meantime, he advises that individuals with hoverboards keep a working fire extinguisher near the board while it’s charging or in use in or around the home, and charge it in an open area away from combustible materials.
Online retailer Amazon has volunteered to accept the return of all hoverboards purchased on the site for a full refund.
Carpenter claimed that he received no warning about the product but was being careful with it after hearing reports of other incidents. “It’s like selling kids bombs,” he says.
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