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Family Pets Die In Santa Rosa Fire Likely Sparked By Charging Hoverboard

SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) -- A house fire that killed two pet dogs was likely sparked by a charging hoverboard, Santa Rosa fire officials said Wednesday.

Assistant Fire Marshal Paul Lowenthal said that the cause of the 5 p.m. fire at 2130 E. Foothill Drive was considered accidental, but an A3 Original Transboard hoverboard was located in a bedroom of the single-family home where the fire started.

The fire caused serious damage to the front of the home and moderate to major smoke damage to the rest of the structure. It was controlled within 15 minutes.

The Fire Department notified the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission about the fire, which caused damage estimated to be between $200,000 and $250,000, Lowenthal said.

burned hoverboard generic/KPIX
burned hoverboard generic image/KPIX

It is the first fire in Santa Rosa believed to be caused by a hoverboard with a lithium-ion battery, Lowenthal said. Leaking fluids, excessive heat, odor, sparking and smoke are signs of a malfunctioning battery or charger, he said.

Elliot Kaye, chairman of the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission, said in December that field investigators were investigating hoverboard fires across the country and added that there were also hazards of people falling off the devices.

The Santa Rosa Fire Department recommends that hoverboard owners charge them in safe areas away from combustible materials, allow recently used hoverboards to cool before re-charging, stop using it and contact the manufacturer if it is hot, not charge it unattended and buy a hoverboard with a warranty from a reputable source.

TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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