Harrisburg Hoverboard Fire Kills Girl, 3, Injures 2 Others

Harrisburg Hoverboard Fire Kills Girl, 3, Injures 2 Others

A fire started by a rechargeable hoverboard claimed the life of Ashanti Hughes, 3, and injured two other girls in Harrisburg, PA on Friday, March 10.  All three girls, two of whom sustained burns to 95 percent of their bodies, were transported to the burn unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, where Ashanti died on Saturday morning. The two other girls remain in critical condition.

Harrisburg Fire Chief Brian Enterline said at a Saturday press conference that the fire was started by a hoverboard that was recharging. Family members heard a sizzling sound before it burst into flames, he said.

When fire crews arrived on the scene around 7:45 p.m., the three-story row home, located in the 2500 block of Lexington Street, was engulfed in flames. Several people were trapped inside.

This is the first time a fatality has been associated with a hoverboard. But reports of fires stemming from overheating lithium-ion batteries in the self-balancing scooters had become so common last year that 10 manufacturers issued recalls in July. (See below for more detailed recall information.) Several hoverboard fire lawsuits have been filed.

Compounding the tragedy at the scene of the fire, Fire Lt. Dennis DeVoe, a 21-year veteran, was headed to the station to pick up his gear before heading to the scene when another vehicle struck his at an intersection. DeVoe was admitted to Hershey Medical Center where he later died.

Fire Lawsuit

When someone is injured or dies due to the negligence of another person or company, surviving family members can file a lawsuit. The fire attorneys at Pritzker Hageman have won numerous multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts for their clients. Contact Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman for a free consultation, or, to speak with them in their offices call 1(888) 377-8900. The call is free and there is no obligation.

Recalled Hoverboards

In July 2016, 10 companies recalled more than a half million hoverboards after at least 99 instances of them overheating, sparking, smoking, catching fire and exploding were reported. Many of the incidents included injuries and property damage. Here is a summary of hoverboard recall information from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

  • PTX Performance Products USA, of Irvine, California, recalled about 4,900 Airwalk brand hoverboards. They were sold at The Sports Authority, MC Sports stores nationwide and online at Academy.com and DICKS.com from December 2015 through May 2016 for about $500. These products were sold in black or white colors. The AIRWALK logo is printed on the front right foot pad. At the time of the recall, there had been no reports of injuries or property damage.
  • Yuka Clothing of Miami, Florida, recalled about 800 Wheeli, 2 Wheelz, Back to the Future, Mobile Tech, Hover Shark, NWS, X Glider and X Rider brand hoverboards, that were sold by Yuka Clothing at Yuka Clothing stores nationwide and online choxi.com, groupon.com, Starshop.com and zulily.com from June 2015 through May 2016 for between $400 and $900. The hoverboards were sold in various colors and do not have any brand labels on them. The hoverboards were sold with a key fob that turns the hoverboard on and off. There have been two incident reports involving the recalled self-balancing scooters/hoverboards. One incident involved a hoverboard sparking. The second involved a hoverboard that turned off while a consumer was riding it. At the time of the recall, there had been no reports of injuries or property damage.
  • Hoverboard LLC recalled about 70,000 Powerboard brand hoverboards, model #PB-001, sold in green, blue, black, red, white, chrome, gold chrome and pink. This product can be identified by the POWERBOARD marking on the left side of the board. The recalled products were sold at mall kiosks operated by Hoverboard LLC at 35 locations nationwide and online at Amazon.com and the powerboard.com from September 2015 through April 2016 for between $350 and $1,000. There have been 27 reports of the self-balancing scooters/hoverboards overheating, sparking and smoking, including one report of property damage. At the time of the recall, there had been no reports of injuries or property damage.
  • Swagway LLC, of South Bend, Indiana, recalled about 267,000 Swagway X1 Hands-Free Smartboard hoverboards. The Swagway brand X1 hoverboard has “Swagway” printed in the front and comes in gold, black, blue, green, red or pink. They were sold at mass merchandisers, department stores, home improvement stores and others nationwide and online at Amazon.com, modells.com, swagway.com, target.com and other online retailers from September 2015 through March 2016 for between $400 and $500. There have been 42 incident reports of the battery packs in the self-balancing scooters/hoverboards smoking, catching fire and/or exploding, including 16 reports of injuries, such as burns to neck, leg, and arm, or severe property damage.
  • Boscov’s Department Store LLC, of Reading, Pennsylvania, recalled about 1300 Orbit brand hoverboards sold at Boscov’s stores in the Mid-Atlantic region and online at boscovs.com from December 2015 through May 2016 for about $350. Orbit brand hoverboards were sold in the following colors: black, blue, gold, green, red and white.  “Orbit” is printed on a black sticker on the underside of the hoverboard.At the time of the recall, there had been no reports of injuries.
  • Digital Gadgets LLC, of Monroe, New Jersey, recalled about 16,000 Hover-Way brand hoverboards with model number HWSBB601-R. They were sold in red, black or and white colors. Hover-Way is printed on the hoverboard’s packaging. These products were sold on QVC’s televised shopping programs and on QVC’s website from November 2015 through December 2015 for about $400. here have been 17 incident reports of the battery packs in the self-balancing scooters/hoverboards overheating, including two reports of burn injuries and two reports of property damage.
  • Overstock.com, of Salt Lake City, Utah, recalled about 4,300 hoverboards sold online at Overstock.com from September 2015 through December 2015 for between $365 and $485. There has been one report of the battery packs in the self-balancing scooters/hoverboards overheating and catching on fire. At the time of the recall, there had been no reports of injuries or property damage.
  • Razor USA LLC, of Cerritos, California, about 28,000 non-UL certified Hovertrax brand hoverboards. The recalled Hovertrax brand hoverboards have serial numbers beginning with 55X120-01, 55X120-02, 55X110-01, 55X110-02 and 55X230-01. The serial number is printed on a white sticker on the bottom of the deck or on the charger. These products were sold at Big 5, Scheels, Toys R Us and other stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com, Razor.com, Target.com, Walmart.com and other websites from December 2015 through May 2016 for between $600 and $700. There have been two reports of the battery packs in the self-balancing scooters/hoverboards catching fire, exploding or smoking. At the time of the recall, there had been no reports of injuries or property damage.
  • Keenford Limited, of Lynbrook, New York, recalled about 84,000 iMoto brand hoverboards. The iMoto Smart Balance Board style (model no. M1A1) has 6.5 inch wheels and was sold in blue, black, green, multi, pink, yellow, gold-plated chrome and platinum-plated chrome. The iMoto Smart Balance Board 2.0 style (model no. M2A2) has 8 inch wheels and was sold in blue, black, black/red, chrome, neon, Oreo and white.  The iMoto Smart Balance Board SUV style (model no. M3A3) has 10 inch wheels and was sold in carbon fiber, mahogany and graffiti. These products were sold at Macy’s, The Athlete’s Foot and other stores nationwide and online at imotohk.com and hoverboard360.com from September 2015 through December 2015 for between $400 and $600. There have been six incidents reported of sparks, overheating and short circuits with the recalled hoverboards. At the time of the recall, there had been no reports of injuries or property damage.
  • Hype Wireless Ltd, of Edison, New Jersey, recalled about 25,000 Hype Roam brand hoverboards. Roam brand hoverboards were sold in black, red and blue. Roam is printed on a sticker attached to the undercarriage of the scooter. These products were sold at Bed Bath and Beyond, Sports Chalet, VMZ Enterprises LLC and Trans World Entertainment stores nationwide and online from November 2015 through January 2016 for about $500. Hype Wireless has received one report of a self-balancing scooter/hoverboard overheating and smoking. At the time of the recall, there had been no reports of injuries or property damage.