14 forced from homes by hoverboard fire

MANCHESTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Joshua Simpson stared at the back of his house in the 200 block of Royal Drive.

“The front two rooms are basically trash,” he told ABC27 News as he pointed to them.

Simpson, a cancer survivor, and his fiancée, her mother, and the family’s four pets were forced out of their after a neighbor’s house caught fire around 3 a.m. Monday.

“When I first heard about the fire, I wanted – I thought about trying to grab the hose and tried to spray it,” Simpson said.

Union Fire Company Chief Joe Stevens said the fire was caused by a hoverboard. He said a 12-year-old girl saw sparks and smoke coming from the outlet where the hoverboard was charging.

Stevens said the fire destroyed the family’s home and quickly spread.

“This has happened many times,” Simpson said about hoverboard incidents. “This isn’t the first incident of someone’s house burning down and people lose everything.”

Stevens said no one was hurt, but 14 people were forced out of their homes. He added that a total of six homes were damaged.

Stevens also had a strong message for anyone who owns a hoverboard.

“Get rid of it,” he advised. “Charge it somewhere else. Don’t charge it in your house and don’t leave it unattended if you’re charging it.”

Stevens said the family of eight living where the fire started was renting and did not have renter’s insurance.

He estimated the fire caused $500,000 worth of damage.

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