Hoverboard starts major fire

Posted at 10:48 AM, Oct 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-24 10:48:58-04

MANCHESTER, PA (WHTM/CNN) – A fire tore through a row of townhouses where people were sleeping. Fourteen were forced from their homes, but no one was injured.

Officials say the fire was caused by a hoverboard.

Resident Joshua Simpson, a cancer survivor, was among those forced out with his fiancé and her mother and the family’s four pets. They fled to a neighbor’s home.

“Stairs … there’s basically nothing. Basically nothing. The front two rooms are just trash,” Simpson said.

Firefighters say the fire was caused by a hoverboard that was plugged into an outlet.

A 12-year-old girl saw sparks and smoke coming from the outlet where the hoverboard was plugged in, they said.

The fire chief sent a strong message to anyone who has a hoverboard.

“Get rid of it,” said Joseph Stevens, the Union Fire Company chief. “If you’re going to keep it, charge it somewhere else. Don’t charge it in your house, and don’t leave it unattended if you’re charging it.”

The fire chief estimated the fire caused a half-a-million dollars worth of damage. The family of eight living where the fire started was renting and did not have renter’s insurance.

Copyright 2017 WHTM via CNN. All rights reserved.