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Experts: Hugely Popular Motorized Boards Are A Holiday Fire Hazard

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) -- There was a consumer alert Wednesday, for hugely popular motorized scooters.

There have been more reports of them catching fire, including one that has been blamed for a house fire in Westchester County.

They're the hottest gadgets on wish lists this holiday season, now in more ways than one.

Timothy Cade's motorized board burst into flames while he was riding it Friday.

"I came down the sidewalk not even 100-ft, and it exploded. It said, 'boom,'" Cade told CBS2's Hazel Sanchez.

Experts said it's no fluke. As consumers report similar fires across the country.

Jessica Horne bought a board for her son's birthday, and it caused a blaze that burned down her Louisiana home.

A brand new board burst into flames inside of a Chappaqua home on Sunday night, just minutes after the owners plugged it in to charge it.

"Almost immediately from the time they plugged it in, just sparked, exploded and caught fire," Chief Russell Maitland, Chappaqua Fire Department, said.

The family was able to extinguish the fire before firefighters arrived, but not before it charred their floor and melted the board's plastic parts, causing severe smoke damage throughout their two story home.

"And the entire house was filled with that plastic black sooty smoke," Maitland said.

After spending a few hundred dollars on a motorized board that they never even had a second to use, the family has spent several days and thousands of dollars cleaning up the damage that was left behind.

"We had to rip up the wood floor. We had to take all the drapes, all the furniture and everything is garbage, wash down all the walls. We have to take out all the contents of the entire kitchen," Thomas Vasicak, said.

Experts said motorized boards can run anywhere from $200 to $1,500.

"For the time now, there's enough reports of fire and damage that's being caused by them that I would stay away from it this Christmas season," Maitland said.

Fire officials said saving your money could save your life.


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