Fire officials: Md. house fire sparked by hoverboard

- Montgomery County fire officials issued a warning Friday about a gift item that’s on many holiday wish lists this year. According to officials, hoverboards and other motorized scooters like them have the potential to cause fires.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services said Friday in a blog post that a fire that sparked at a Gaithersburg home last month was caused by a hoverboard. They said the November 8 blaze started in an upstairs bedroom at the home on Mineral Springs Drive and was quickly put out.

Eleven-year-old Ryan has a new room and bed after firefighters say the hoverboard ignited without warning, destroying everything in its path.

The souped-up scooter caught fire and zoomed under Ryan’s bed. He received the hoverboard in October as a birthday gift. Less than a month later, it burst into flames.

Lead fire investigator Kevin Frazier said it took a month to connect the dots and determine the hoverboard caused the fire inside the Gaithersburg home.

Now, Frazier is warning holiday shoppers about hoverboard dangers. He said only buy a hoverboard that has been certified by a recognized testing lab such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL).

The box and/or the hoverboard should have the logo imprinted on it.

The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Department said if you own one already, only charge the hoverboard if you will be present the entire time.

Ryan told us he has no plans to replace the destroyed hoverboard and his mother agreed.

Some airlines have banned hoverboards over safety concerns. Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines are prohibiting these devices due to the potential of fire caused by their lithium-ion batteries.

Official Hoverboard brand scooters cost between $2,000 and $10,000.

Part of the problem is people are reportedly purchasing knockoffs that lack the proper certification and safety mechanisms.

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