The fire was caused by a hoverboard or “self-balancing scooter” that was plugged into the wall near the door on the first floor of the house.
The fire was reported shortly before 8 p.m. on Friday, March 11. “They heard some sizzling and crackling in the hoverboard and shortly thereafter, it exploded in flames,” said Fire Chief Brian Enterlin.
He called hoverboards “notorious for starting fires” and told parents to take the recalled products away from children immediately.
We’ve seen too many fires and too many fire fatalities as a result of these hoverboards.”
Two girls were able to climb onto the second story roof. One girl jumped to escape and the other was rescued by ladder from the ground. A third girl and an adult man were also rescued by ladder.
All three girls were hospitalized in critical condition. The Lehigh County coroner’s office said 3 year-old Ashanti Hughes died of her injuries just after 11:30 a.m. at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest.
The two other girls, both 10 years old, remain hospitalized. The man and another teenage boy who lived in the house were treated and released.
Two firefighters were briefly trapped on the second floor of the house, but escaped uninjured. Another firefighter, Lt. Dennis DeVoe, was killed by a suspected drunk driver on his way to the tragic scene.
This is the first death that has been linked to a hoverboard, but at least 60 fires have caused over $2 million in property damage since 2015.
In July 2016, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled 501,000 hoverboards from 10 manufacturers after 99 reports of hoverboard batteries catching on fire or exploding spontaneously.
The most dangerous hoverboards are the Swagway X1 Smartboard, Hoverboard Powerboard, and Digital Gadgets Hover-Way. They were sold at mall kiosks, QVC home shopping TV channel, and amazon.com for $350 to $1000. The recalled hoverboards include:
- Digital Gadgets LLC – Hover-Way
- Hoverboard LLC – Powerboard
- Hype Wireless – Hype Roam
- Keenford – iMoto
- PTX Performance Products USA – Airwalk Self-Balancing Electric Scooter
- Razor USA LLC – Hovertrax
- Swagway LLC – Swagway X1
- Yuka Clothing – Wheeli, 2Wheelz, Back to the Future, Mobile Tech, HoverShark, NWS, X, Glider, and X-Rider
- Boxcov’s – Orbit
- Overstock.com – All hoverboards