Hoverboard explosion reportedly causes NW Topeka garage fire

Published: May. 27, 2017 at 5:33 PM CDT
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An explosion from a high-tech scooter is believed to be the cause for a fire that caused substantial damage to a home in Northwest Topeka Saturday.

The self-balancing scooters known as hoverboards were first introduced in 2013. Since then they have led to several reports of fires and explosions throughout the country.

Thirteen year old Jordan Donaldson was just getting to know his new neighbors.

"I'm just kind of shocked," said Jordan.

The family moved into the house at 6215 NW Kelshar Drive only a few days earlier.

"We were planning on going swimming, and then everything it just happened so fast," said Jordan.

Jordan and the two children who live at the home were riding the family's hoverboard. They later left it in the garage to charge and went back inside leaving the garage door open.

"It was a split second. It sparked once, and then when one spark hit the ground it went up into flames," said Jordan.

That's when the hoverboard turned into a hover-blaze.

"We're going to have some extensive damage as you can see from the front of the house, the garage is pretty well gutted out, and we have a lot of smoke and heat throughout the house," said Soldier Township Fire Chief Karl McNorton.

Soldier Township Fire Department responded to the call around 4:15 p.m., receiving assistance from the Silverlake and Hoyt departments as well.

"New construction like this, it usually moves pretty fast. The guys did a great job, they kept the fire from spreading into the house itself," said McNorton.

The incident is believed to be the first hoverboard explosion in Shawnee County. Last year 11 brands of the toy were recalled after nearly 100 reports of burns and property damage caused by fires resulting from overheating batteries.

A three year old girl died from a hoverboard explosion earlier this year in March.

"(The batteries) are lithium. When they do burn they're very hot, and quote on quote 'explosive' it's a very intense fire," said Shawnee County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Beightel.

Jordan says he's just thankful his new friends weren't hurt, but he doesn't think he'll be playing with a hoverboard anytime soon.

"It was really scary. We're lucky it wasn't in the basement or the living room."

Everyone was able to get out of the home without any injuries Saturday.

The Kansas Fire Marshall's Office is still investigating the incident.

The Soldier Township Fire Dept. responded to a fire at 6215 NW Kelshar Drive.

The fire started around 4:15 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

According to dispatch, someone in the home called and reported a hoverboard exploded in the garage and started the fire.

Thirteen-year-old neighbor Jordan Donaldson tells 13 NEWS he and two other children who live at the home were charging the hoverboard in the garage, when it sparked and erupted in flames.

Everyone was able to get out of the home safely, and no one was injured.

The family who lives in the home just moved in just a few days ago.

The Silver Lake Fire Dept. and Hoyt Fire Dept. were called in to assist.

Fire crews were able to contain the fire to the garage, but the flames did substantial damage.

The Kansas Fire Marshal's office is investigating.

This is a developing story. We will keep you updated with the latest information as it becomes available.