A family has had a lucky escape after a hoverboard caught fire and nearly burnt their home in Melbourne’s north-west to the ground.
A hoverboard bought as a Christmas present has spelled devastation for a Melbourne family, after the device sparked a house fire in the city’s west last night, leaving the family homeless.
The device was charging in a bedroom of the Strathmore home about 7pm when the blaze was sparked.
Smoke alarms alerted all five family members, who managed to flee from the home safely with their pets.
Sparks from the products caused a fire at a house in Strathmore on Monday night.
Neil Fraser, the safety authority’s executive manager of electrical installations, licensing and equipment safety, said the charger did not meet safety standards.
Hampering efforts investigate the fire, the ‘hoverboards’ and chargers do not have any brand name attached.
It took firefighters 30 minutes to bring the inferno under control.
The self-balancing scooters have stirred controversy in the past few months, due to the fire risk caused by their lithium ion batteries.
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) said the rear of the home was severely damaged, while the rest of the building and its contents also suffered water and smoke damage.
The parents had given three of their four daughters, aged between eight and 14, one each for Christmas.
Ash Ibraheim said he had researched the presents for his children because of reports some models did not comply with Australian battery standards.
“They were Christmas presents, all Australian compliant,” he said.
Mr Ibraheim said one of the girls had plugged it into the wall just 10 minutes before the blaze broke out.
He said two of his daughters were outside playing with neighbours, while two were inside.
“The beeping of the fire alarm sounded like the beeping of the fridge when it’s left open, so no-one paid attention for a bit,” he said.
“We’re just grateful it didn’t happen while the girls were sleeping in the bedroom. It all happened in a matter of eight to 10 minutes.
“By the time the fire brigade came the whole house was on fire.
“The youngest one, the eight-year-old, who didn’t get one for Christmas, said ‘dad, I don’t want one now’.
“No more hoverboards.”
The charred remains of the offending hoverboard. Family lucky to evacuate after the Christmas gift caught fire. pic.twitter.com/6XWEAjCX6V
— MFB (@MFB_NEWS) January 4, 2016