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Charging hoverboard blamed for fire that kills girl

Commentary: In Pennsylvania, a 3-year-old girl dies in a fire that officials say was started by a charging hoverboard.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


The house after the fire.

PennLive/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

"It was all because of a hoverboard," family member Charles Dominick told Penn Live.

On Friday night, fire crews were called to a burning house in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

"The building was essentially fully engulfed in fire and we had multiple victims that we were in the process of rescuing," fire chief Brian Enterline told a press conference.

One victim jumped from the roof, according to Enterline.

A young occupant of the house, said by the coroner to be three years old, was reported dead from her injuries. Three other people -- two said to be children -- are in critical condition.

Enterline told Fox 43 that the family had been aware of "sizzling and crackling in the hoverboard, and shortly thereafter, it exploded into flames. The hoverboard had been charging.

The fire department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hoverboards have been the subject of safety fears for some time. As with many fires associated with gadgets, defective batteries are often said to be the cause. Last year, a Tennessee family sued Amazon after an alleged hoverboard fire destroyed their house.

Many airlines have banned them from flights. In 2016, a recall by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission targeted 10 different manufacturers, and hundreds thousands of hoverboards were recalled.

The brand of hoverboard tied to the Harrisburg fire was not identified.

Some manufacturers have made progress with respect to ensuring that hoverboards are safe.

However, Enterline told ABC News that hoverboards are "notorious for starting fires."

"We've seen too many fires and too many fire fatalities as a result of these hoverboards," he added.

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