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Chelmsford House Fire Highlights Potential Danger Of Hoverboards

CHELMSFORD – A hoverboard burst into flames in Chelmsford Monday night, badly damaging a home on Monmouth street. An 11-year-old boy was riding the hoverboard when he heard a pop, saw fire and ran out unscathed.

"We're learning more about the dangers of hoverboards," Chief Gary Ryan of the Chelmsford Fire Department said Tuesday. "We want to get the message out that if you use it, use it outside. If you charge it, supervise the charging of the hoverboard and keep it away from combustibles," he said.

The problem with most products is the lithium batteries which overheat and catch fire.

A hoverboard caught fire in a Chelmsford home (Image from Chelmsford Fire Dept.)

Since December the Consumer Product Safety Commission has documented 52 fires, in 24 states, and 2 million dollars in property damage. The devices have destroyed two homes, and a car. There are no current safety regulations in place for the devices. The CPSC is encouraging manufacturers to offer refunds to their customers, and if the situation doesn't improve, a mandatory recall from the Federal Government could be on the way.

Chief Ryan says it's new territory for the department too.

"When you do a fire report there's nothing that covers hoverboards. They cover structure fires, building fires, car fires, but hoverboards are unique to us," he said.

Parents of the 11-year-old boy in Chelmsford say if they could go back, they'd never have bought the popular toy.

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