LAFITTE, La. (WGNO)- Jessica Horne can't believe that the hoverboard her son couldn't wait to get-- could have killed him. Now she blames the toy for a fire that destroyed her home.
Just five days before Thanksgiving, Jessica's 12-year-old son opened the box containing one of this year's most sought-after items. It was a hoverboard, one of the futuristic skateboards that are powered by lithium batteries, allowing riders to move without effort, steering with their feet.
Although Jessica had heard of injuries caused by people falling off hoverboards, she says she had never heard that a hoverboard might catch fire. But just one day after using it, Jessica's son was charging the battery-- using the charger that came with the hoverboard--- when Jessica says she saw flames shooting from both ends.
"It was like fireworks," she says, "the middle part of the board--just 'poof.'" Jessica says the fire was so intense that her house was in flames within minutes.
A shipping order provided by the family shows that the hoverboard came from a company called "Fit Turbo" and was ordered on Amazon.com.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal agency, tells WGNO that in the last three months, there have eight reported injuries involving hoverboards that required a trip to the emergency room. But all of the injuries were related to falls-- not fires. An agency spokesman also said that "federal rules prevent (the agency) from speaking specifically about a brand name product." However, the CPSC "strongly encourages" consumers to report product safety issues. For more information check out their website saferproducts.gov.
The Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the fire, and WGNO will post updates as they become available.