Fatal hoverboard fire in Pennsylvania triggers federal probe

A second girl has died following a Pennsylvania house fire being blamed on a hoverboard that ignited while charging.

The girls were rushed to a local hospital and later transferred to Lehigh Valley burn center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where Hughes died, PennLive reports. Two other children, ages 3 and 4, that were injured in the fire reportedly have been released from the hospital.

The fire about 8 p.m. Friday at 2534 Lexington Ave. also claimed Ashanti Hughes, 2, who died Saturday morning in Lehigh Valley Hospital's burn unit, the news website said.

Hoverboards - two-wheeled transportation devices - are generally powered by lithium-ion batteries. Later the fire crew rescued two females from the second floor of the building with the help of ladder from ground.

An investigation is underway into the cause of the fire, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said it was working with the fire department to confirm the cause.

Numerous reports of fires caused by overheated battery packs forced more than a half-million of the boards to be recalled previous year.

"We want to know whether the hoverboard was a previously recalled model or a different model that would need further analysis", said Ann Marie Buerkle, the commission's acting chairman.

Safety concerns led to them being banned by some airlines, railroads and college campuses. "We've seen too many fires and too many fire fatalities as a result of these hoverboards". Lt. Dennis DeVoe, a 21-year veteran, died Saturday "surrounded by his family and close friends", said Harrisburg Fire Chief Brian Enterline, who called him "a leader in our department and the fire service as a whole".

  • Larry Hoffman