Officials: Exploding Hoverboard Causes Fire in Home

(Chicago Tribune/TNS) -
A hoverboard(AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
A hoverboard (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

Officials say a newly bought hoverboard exploded while being charged up for the first time in a suburban Chicago home over the weekend, causing minor damage.

The hoverboard was plugged into an outlet in the family room of the home in Orland Park, Ill., around 5 p.m. Sunday, the town said in a release. “Shortly after, there were several explosions that shot burning pieces of the hover board across the room,” it said.

A window shade and part of a couch started burning, and the fire was put out by the homeowners, the town said. Fire crews used power fans to clear the house of smoke. One person was evaluated for smoke inhalation but did not want to be taken to a hospital.

A battalion chief for the Orland Fire Prevention District determined that the hoverboard was the cause of the fire, the town said in the release.

Last month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said it was investigating 39 hoverboard fires in 19 states, up from 12 incidents reported in December.

The commission was focusing its investigation on the lithium-ion batteries that power the boards and “their interaction with the circuit boards inside the units,” according to a statement from commission chairman Elliot F. Kaye.

The commission has said poorly designed batteries can overheat and are prone to explosion.

In an advisory, the commission urged consumers to “have a working fire extinguisher nearby while charging or using these boards in and around your home.”

It also advised people to charge the boards “in an open area away from combustible materials.”