A three-year-old girl died Saturday from a fire caused by a charging hoverboard scooter that exploded in her family’s three-story home in Harrisburg. This is the first death attributed to a fire caused by a hoverboard.
The fire, which started shortly before 8 p.m. Friday night and was fueled by strong winds, had engulfed the first-floor of the house by the time firefighters arrived at the scene.
First responders reported seeing two people, believed to be the girl’s brother and father, evacuate through the roof of a porch. The girl’s mother escaped through the kitchen door. Two girls were also trapped on the second and third floors of the home.
The three-year-old girl was later taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital where she died from her injuries shortly after 11:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
The girl’s father and brother were released after being treated for smoke inhalation. Two other girls still remain in critical condition.
An investigation into the fire’s origins traced it back to a hoverboard scooter. The family heard reported hearing sizzling and crackling noises from the device before it burst into flames, according to Harrisburg Fire Chief Brain Enterline.
Hoverboards became a popular gift item in 2015, but reports of fires caused by the scooter quickly began to appear. By February 2016, hoverboard fires were responsible for causing two homes to burn down.
While this is the first death caused by a hoverboard, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has investigated 60 reports of the scooter exploding into flames in the last year and half.
The cause of the fires is believed to originate with hoverboards’ rechargeable lithium-ion battery cells, which contain a flammable solution. If the battery is damaged, overheated or defective, it can explode.
In 2016, the Consumer Products Safety Group issued a warning that advised consumers to stop buying hoverboards. By July, 2016, hoverboard manufacturers issued a recalled of more than 500,000 devices.
The tragedy that unfolded Friday night in downtown Harrisburg is a reminder that manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure their products meet quality and safety standards. Those who neglect to follow this obligation can be held accountable by an experienced product liability attorney.
If you have been injured or lost someone you love because of a defective or dangerous product, you may have legal options. Schmidt Kramer can help you take action against negligent manufacturers to seek the compensation and justice you deserve.
Call (717) 888-8888 for a free, no obligation legal consultation. We only charge if you win.