Tennessee officials are warning the public about potential fire hazards of hoverboards after the devices were found to be the cause of two fires in Nashville recently, including a hoverboard fire that destroyed a luxury home.
“Today, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office renew our strong warning to Tennessee consumers about so-called hoverboard devices becoming potential fire hazards to Tennessee consumers,” Tennessee Commerce & Insurance Deputy Commissioner Gary West said. “The recent fire in Nashville is the first reported fire in Tennessee caused by one of these devices. One hoverboard-related fire is one fire too many.”
Nashville Fire investigators said that on the evening of Jan. 9, 2016, a FITURBO F1 hoverboard burst into flames on the first floor of a home on Radcliff Drive in Nashville while two teens and their father were home. Smoke inside the home prompted a 16-year-old girl to kick out a second-floor window and leap into the arms of her father waiting outside below. The father then helped the 14-year-old boy out a second-story window with a ladder.
Both teens suffered minor injuries and were transported to a local hospital. The father injured his arm catching his daughter, but drove himself to the emergency room.
“We are fortunate that there were only minor injuries in what was an extremely dangerous fire,” said Nashville Fire Chief Rick White. “We hope Nashvillians use extreme caution before purchasing or using these hoverboards.”
The 4,000 square foot home, valued at one million dollars, was completely destroyed and weeks of work by the Nashville Fire Department led investigators to determine a FITURBO F1 hoverboard fire ignited the Radcliff Drive home.
A subsequent investigation revealed that friends of that family who lost their home on Jan. 9 also experienced a small fire when their FITURBO F1 hoverboard – purchased in the same batch – caught fire in its battery compartment. In that case, only the hoverboard was damaged in the fire.
The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance offered the following tips for safety and prevention of a hoverboard fire.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced last month that agency engineers were investigating the safety of hoverboards manufactured or sold by thirteen companies after at least 48 fires across the country. Amazon said it will issue a full refund to consumers who bought a hoverboard through the website and wish to return it.
Photos: Nashville Fire Department