March 16, 2017
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A second child has died from a fire in Pennsylvania that fire officials blamed on an exploding hoverboard, a coroner said Thursday.
The deaths — if definitively linked to the two-wheeled, battery-powered scooter — would be the first in the United States caused by a hoverboard fire.
A county coroner said 10-year-old Savannah Dominick died at a hospital from severe burns.
Another child, 3-year-old Ashanti Hughes, died Saturday from the fire that broke out March 10 in the living room of a row house in Harrisburg, the state capital.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said it was working with the fire department to confirm the cause, and trying to figure out if the make and model is one of the hundreds of thousands the agency has recalled due to fire hazards.
Acting commission chairman Ann Marie Buerkle warned people who own hoverboards not to charge them overnight or in unattended areas, and to maintain smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. She said last year's recall remains active and consumers can get replacement batteries or refunds.
The commission suggests consumers look for an indication their hoverboard meets the Underwriters Laboratories standard UL 2272, which means it is designed to prevent the battery and electrical components from overheating and catching fire.
The agency has investigated more than 60 hoverboard-related fires. The recalls announced last summer for 10 companies came after at least 18 injuries had been reported, including neck, leg and arm burns. Safety concerns led to them being banned by some airlines, railroads and college campuses.
In the Harrisburg fire, several others were injured and a fire lieutenant responding to the blaze was killed in a car crash.
Fire Chief Brian Enterline said family members heard "sizzling and crackling" before their hoverboard, which was plugged in and recharging, exploded into flames.
Rescuers used a ladder to get victims to safety, and one person jumped from a second-floor porch roof.