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.
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.