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Hoverboard blamed for destroying $1 million Nashville home

Natalie Neysa Alund, nalund@tennessean.com • Feb 9, 2016 at 5:21 PM

NASHVILLE — Local and state fire officials say hoverboards are to blame for two fires over the past month in Nashville — one that destroyed a $1 million home last month.

At 11:40 p.m. on Jan. 9, two teenagers — a 14-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl — hid upstairs in a home on Radcliff Drive after hearing noises downstairs, Nashville Fire Department spokesman Brian Haas said. What the teens did not know was a hoverboard had burst into flames on the first floor of the house, Haas said.

To escape the home that was filling with smoke, the teenage girl kicked out a second-floor window and leaped into her father’s arms. Both teens suffered minor injuries in the process. The father then helped the teenage boy out a second-story window with a ladder, Haas said.

More on the fire from The Tennessean, a Johnson City Press news partner.

News release from the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance:

· At 11:40 p.m. on Jan. 9, 2016, on Radcliff Drive in Nashville, two teens hid upstairs in a home after hearing noises downstairs. Unbeknownst to them, a FITURBO F1 “hoverboard” had burst into flames on the first floor. Upon being confronted with smoke, a 16-year-old girl kicked out a second-floor window and leapt into her father’s arms. Both received minor injuries in the process. The father then helped the 14-year-old boy out a second-story window with a ladder.

· The two teens were both taken to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt with minor injuries. The father, who injured his arm while trying to catch his daughter, said he would drive himself to the emergency room.

· The fire destroyed the 4,000-plus square-foot home.

Weeks of work by Nashville Fire Department led the investigators to determine that the fire was caused by the FITURBO F1 hoverboard. A subsequent investigation revealed that friends of the family who lost their home on Jan. 9 also experienced a small fire when their FITURBO F1 hoverboard – purchased in the same batch – caught fire in its battery compartment. Fortunately, only the hoverboard was damaged in that fire.

“We are fortunate that there were only minor injuries in what was an extremely dangerous fire,” said Nashville Fire Chief Rick White. “We hope Nashvillians use extreme caution before purchasing or using these hoverboards.”

Hoverboard safety tips:

· If you do own a hoverboard, always use the manufacturer-supplied charge.

· Do not leave it unattended while charging or plugged into an outlet overnight.

· Do not overcharge the device and follow the manufacturer’s recommended charging times. (For more safety tips, go here.)

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is currently investigating dozens of such fires across the United States thought to be caused by hoverboards. The Radcliff Drive fire is now among those being investigated.

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