Exploding hoverboard battery sets fire to house and leaves bed-bound woman in coma

A still image made from footage of the exploding hoverboard battery
A still image made from footage of the exploding hoverboard battery

Recordings of the scary moment show the molten contents of the lithium-ion battery being spat across the living room. Moments later the room is on fire.

Jacqueline Barrett was in her downstairs bedroom off the living room when the house in Stony Lane, Smethwick went up in flames just after 5 p.m. on Saturday.

The 54-year-old, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and heart problems, is in an artificial coma after being rescued by the fire department.

One of her sons, who is also her carer, now warns against being particularly careful when charging electrical devices.

Shane Johnson, 34, said, “It’s awful. My mother is really sick in the hospital. The fire and smoke damage to the house is just amazing.

“Mom called me shortly after it happened to tell me there was some kind of explosion. The first thing I did was call the fire department and then get in the car to reach them as quickly as possible.

“I called my father and a couple of friends. Some were there before me and Dad had tried kicking the door down to get to Mum, but the heat from the fire was just too much.

“If someone needs a warning that they are leaving things unattended while charging or when they are fully charged, this is the place. It could happen to anyone. “

Five fire engines and a brigade emergency vehicle with a total of almost 30 firefighters fought the fire in the semi-detached house. Crews wearing respirators took Jacqueline out of her downstairs bedroom before being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.

A West Midlands Fire Service investigator has confirmed that the fire accidentally started when a hoverboard was charging in the house.

Burned out hoverboard that went up in flames while attacking a house in Stony Lane, Smethwick. Photo: West Midlands Fire Department

Pete Wilson, Strategic Lead for Prevention, said, “This incident is appalling. Our thoughts are with Jacqueline, her family and friends during this difficult time.

“We are very grateful to Shane for allowing us to share the home security video. It should send a clear warning to people to use extreme caution when charging electrical devices.

“The warning comes especially well in advance of Christmas, when we know that people are going to buy electronics. Please – always buy goods from reputable dealers and check that they meet UK safety standards. “

The fire department has also issued a list of safety tips for charging electrical appliances:

  • Never leave objects under pillows, on / in a bed, or on soft furniture

  • Do not overload the articles. Once they are charged, unplug them from the power supply

  • Always use original branded plugs and cables recommended for the respective device

  • If cables are broken, frayed, or damaged, stop using them and replace them

  • Make sure that the output voltage and current values ​​stated on the charger and your electrical appliance are identical

  • Always buy goods from reputable retailers and check that they meet UK safety standards

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