Girl, Firefighter Die After Hoverboard Catches Fire

She's believed to be first to die in US hoverboard fire
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2017 1:55 AM CDT
Girl, 3, Is First to Die in US Hoverboard Fire
Firefighters at the scene in Harrisburg, Pa.   (Sean Simmers / via AP)

A double tragedy in Harrisburg, Pa.: A 3-year-old girl died in a house fire believed to have been caused by a recharging hoverboard Friday night, and a firefighter was killed on his way to the scene by an allegedly drunk driver in a stolen car. Consumer Products Safety Commission spokesman Scott Wolfson tells NBC that the agency has investigated more than 60 fires linked to hoverboards in the last 18 months, and Ashanti Hughes is believed to be the first fatality. Two other children were critically injured in the Harrisburg blaze, PennLive reports. Witnesses say they saw one little girl jump from a second-story roof after flames engulfed the first floor. Another girl crawled onto the same roof and was rescued by firefighters.

More than 500,000 hoverboards were recalled due to fire risk last year and fire officials say people should avoid using any of the recalled models. They also warn against leaving the self-balancing devices to charge overnight—and against charging them without having a fire extinguisher nearby. Khanyae Kendall, 19, has been charged with crimes including aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI in the death of firefighter Dennis DeVoe. Police say she was driving a stolen car when she T-boned the father of four at an intersection as he was on his way to the blaze. (This family sued Amazon after a faulty hoverboard burned their home down.)

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