Holiday weekend takes terrifying turn for Vista family after hoverboard explodes in their home

Popular toy has been safety issue since late 2015
Posted at 5:34 AM, May 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-30 10:23:53-04

VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - A Vista family is thankful that no one was hurt over the holiday weekend after a hoverboard exploded inside their home.

"I opened the door and saw fire and explosions," said Maria Bowman, who first saw the fire in her teenage daughter's bedroom.

"I grabbed a robe and started swatting at it, trying to put it out," she added. "My husband finally wrapped it in a towel and threw it out the window."

Bowman said the explosions happened just a few minutes after her daughter had been riding the hoverboard. It had been plugged in to charge.

Bowman is not sure what make and model it is, and while she had heard of the safety risks, she thought it wouldn't happen to her.

"We loved that hoverboard. We would use it. It was so much fun, but we never thought about the dangers," Bowman said.

The hoverboard became a popular holiday gift in 2015. By July 2016, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a nationwide recall of more than 500,000 hoverboards after nearly 100 reports of fires and explosions, and almost 18 injuries.

Since then, the toys have still caused problems. In March, a 3-year-old girl and 10-year-old girl in Pennsylvania died in a house fire caused by a recharging hoverboard. On Sunday, a home in Kansas caught fire from a similar explosion.

Bowman's glad no one in her family was hurt, and her home didn't go up in flames.

"All I could think of when I tried to put it out was losing the house or my kids getting hurt. I still think about it. It's like PTSD," she said.

Meanwhile, the CPSC has issued new safety guidelines. All hoverboards built or imported into the U.S. since November 21, 2016, must have the "UL 2272" certification. That means they've been tested to make sure they're safe. The packaging will have a UL logo, and the board will have a "UL 2272" holographic sticker on it.

Bowman doesn't know if her family's hoverboard had that or not.

Even with the new safety measures, she thinks it's not worth it to get another one.

"It's not worth it, losing your home, losing your life, your family, for a toy. Just get rid of it," she said.