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Family Cautions Against Motorized Scooters After Toy Bursts Into Flames Inside Brooklyn Apartment

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The FDNY is launching an investigation after a motorized scooter burst into flames inside a Brooklyn apartment.

Elias Johnson, 10, is still shaken up after the Hoverboard he got for Christmas exploded inside their Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment, CBS2's Hazel Sanchez reported.

"I thought we were going to die," said Johnson.

"The toy was sitting right here on the floor and it just blew up, and sparks and fire started coming from the toy," said mom Loretta Johnson.

The FDNY shows CBS2 the Johnson's charred and melted toy. Burn marks on the floor show where the Johnsons said the device was plugged in.

"You can clearly look at this device and see the fire started inside the device in the chamber where the battery was lodged," said Chief Fire Marshal Robert Burns.

The family said the lithium batteries were charging for almost four hours when it burst into flames, sending parts flying.

"My kid could have been riding it and it could've exploded. Had he had something on that was flammable, he would've went up in flames too. I mean, it's not safe," said father Shelly Johnson.

The Johnsons were able to put out the fire with water and carry the Hoverboard into the hallway before firefighters arrived and took it away, Sanchez reported.

"I would not plug one in in my home," said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

Nigro said this is the city's second fire involving a personal motorized scooter this week, and with similar fires being reported all across the country, the fire department is now looking into the safety of the toy along with local, state and federal lawmakers, Sanchez reported.

"Which of these devices are dangerous? Why are they dangerous? And if need be, the government will issue cautions against them and even perhaps make them illegal," said Nigro.

Elias said he doesn't even want one anymore.

"Take it off the market," he said.

"Ban them, don't sell them because those things could kill somebody," said Shelly Johnson.

The Johnsons said having a joyride isn't worth the risk.

Riding motorized scooters on New York City streets is illegal, but on Tuesday several city legislators announced a push to make them legal.

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