This is the horrifying moment a hoverboard burst into flames after it was left on charge unattended and started a devastating house fire.
Home security video shows the moment the lithium ion battery spewed its molten contents across the downstairs living room of a Smethwick house, setting the room alight.
Homeowner Jacqueline Barrett, 54, who has multiple sclerosis and heart problems, was caught up in the blaze and remains in hospital in an induced coma.
Ms Barrett, who was in her downstairs bedroom next to the lounge when the fire took hold, had to be rescued from the property by West Midlands firefighters.
The video has been shared with the approval of Ms Barrett’s son who is now warning other families to take extra care when charging any electrical devices.
How it started: Fire began when hoverboard’s batteries spewed molten contents over carpet
This is the shocking moment a hoverboard left on charge burst into flames and started a devastating fire at the home of Jacqueline Barrett who was left seriously injured by the blaze
The footage (pictured) has been shared by Ms Barrett’s son in the hope people will take care with electrical items when they leave them on charge and not leave them unattended
Shane Johnson, 34, said: ‘It’s awful. My mum’s really ill in hospital. The fire and smoke damage to the house is just unbelievable.
‘Mum called me moments after it happened, to say there’d been some sort of explosion.
‘The first thing I did was call the fire service, then got in the car to get to her as quickly as possible.
‘I called my dad and some friends. Some got there before me, and dad had tried to kick the door in to get to mum, but the heat from the fire was just too much.
Crews from West Midlands Fire Service responded to the incident just after 5pm on Saturday
Police closed the road while multiple fire crews battled the blaze in Smethwick on Saturday
‘If anyone needs a warning about leaving things unattended when they’re charging, or plugged in when they’re fully charged, this is it. It could happen to anyone.’
Shane, of Smethwick, said the hoverboard belonged to his little brother’s hoverboard and that the family had had it for a couple of years.
Safety tips for charging electrical devices
- Never leave items charging under pillows, on/in a bed or on soft furnishings
- Don’t overcharge items. Once they’re charged, unplug them
- Always use branded, genuine plugs and cables recommended for the specific device
- If cables become broken, frayed or damaged, stop using and replace them
- Check that the output voltage and current ratings marked on the charger and your electrical device are the same
- Always buy goods from reputable retailers and check they meet British safety standards
He added: ‘We’ve never had any problems with it and we just can’t believe what happened.
‘My mum had friends around just half an hour earlier so if they were still sitting in the living room, they could have been in the thick of the blast.
‘Because she is bed-bound she couldn’t get out so phoned me to say there’s been an explosion, so I got straight on the phone to the fire service.
‘I then called her back on Facetime and could just hear her coughing – I couldn’t see her because of all the smoke.
‘I called some friends and family and we all rushed there and the fire service were already there doing a great job to get her out.
‘She is still in hospital now. They tried to get her out of the coma today but her heart rate increased so she’s back under.
‘They think they have got most of the stuff from her lungs but with her conditions, we’re just waiting and hoping for the best.
‘She is a real fighter my mum. She’s been through a lot and we’re just taking it day by day now.
‘We just want people to take care when charging devices. My brother had just put it on to charge before he went out.
‘But we’re not proportioning blame or anything, it could happen to anyone and we want to raise awareness of that.’
Crews from West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) responded to the incident just after 5pm on Saturday, November 13.
Five fire engines and a Brigade Response Vehicle, crewed by a total of nearly 30 firefighters, tackled the fire.
Pictured: the burnt remains of the hoverboard which started the fire in Smethwick on Saturday
Pictured: scene where the fire took place on Saturday night at Ms Barrett’s Smethwick home
The first crew arrived within five minutes of being mobilised and were met with a severe fire in the semi-detached property.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus quickly located and brought Jacqueline out of her downstairs bedroom, and she was taken to hospital by ambulance.
A WMFS fire investigator has confirmed that the fire started accidentally, as a hoverboard was being charged in the house.
The crew has shared safety tips for families who own electrical items that require charging.
Pete Wilson, WMFS’s Strategic Lead for Prevention, said: ‘This incident is horrific. Our thoughts are with Jacqueline, her family and friends at such a difficult time.
‘We are extremely grateful to Shane for allowing us to share the home security video.
‘It should send a clear warning to people to take utmost care when charging electrical items.
‘The warning is particularly timely in the run up to Christmas, when we know people will be buying electrical items.
‘Please – always buy goods from reputable retailers and check they meet British safety standards.’
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