"It was like fireworks." That's how Jessica Horne of Lafitte, La., describes the first time her 12-year-old son, Hayden, plugged in his new $300 hoverboard, powered by lithium batteries, to charge. Purchased from "Fit Turbo" on Amazon and given to Hayden as a birthday gift a day earlier on Nov. 20, the device suddenly burst into flames, Horne says. "I could see sparks just flying. And before I could yell 'the house is on fire,' the middle part of the board … [went] 'poof' into flames," she tells CBS12. "It was hard to put it out," Hayden adds. "It was pretty big." Horne says her entire house was on fire within minutes. "We lost our home to this horrific incident and all that we own," she writes on a GoFundMe page. "On top of all of this, I found out, the house we were renting has no insurance."
BuzzFeed reports the incident isn't unique: A Florida man posted a video online last week showing a hoverboard in flames. "I came outside, turned it on … and it exploded," Timothy Cade tells WKRG. "Batteries started shooting out of it," he adds. "I think it was the batteries that blew up … Imagine if that was in your house." Cade says he also purchased the toy from a seller on Amazon. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission tells WGNO that eight people were taken to the emergency room with injuries related to falling off a hoverboard in the last three months, but there have been no reported injuries involving fires. Horne says she plans to sue the hoverboard manufacturer. Hayden, meanwhile, says he won't be asking for another hoverboard for Christmas. "It's too dangerous," he says. (The UK bans use of the toys in public.)