Hoverboard Sets California House on Fire

Hoverboard (Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty)
Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty

A hoverboard that caught fire inside a Van Nuys home nearly burned the entire house to the ground, but quick-thinking firefighters were able to prevent catastrophe and successfully douse the flames.

Firefighters responded to the 15000 block of Martha Street in Van Nuys at around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday to find flames shooting through a vent in the roof of a house, L.A. County fire officials told local ABC affiliate KABC.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department told the outlet that a burning hoverboard had set a room in the house on fire. Firefighters were reportedly able to contain the blaze and no injuries were reported.

Los Angeles area resident Delvon Simmons warned of this exact scenario last month, when the hoverboard he was riding in Koreatown suddenly exploded underneath his feet and caught fire.

“People, if you’ve got one of these in your house,” I suggest you get it out,” Simmons said in a video of his smoldering board.

So-called “hoverboards” — hands-free motorized scooters — were a popular gift over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday, with everyone from Filipino priests to Mike Tyson getting in on the fun.

However, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating at least 10 reports of hoverboards spontaneously catching fire. Many of the boards are made cheaply in China, and poor labels and faulty lithium-ion batteries could be contributing to the problem.

Online retailers like Amazon and Overstock.com have stopped selling most brands of hoverboards, citing safety concerns. Meanwhile, the top three airlines in the United States, and some small carriers, have banned hoverboards from both checked baggage and overheard bins due to risk of fire.





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