Dania Beach house fire started by hoverboard, authorites say

No injuries reported

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Derek Shore - Reporter

DANIA BEACH, Fla. - A house fire reported Monday in Dania Beach was started by a hoverboard, authorities said Wednesday.

The fire was reported Monday at a home near Northwest 14th Avenue and Griffin Road.

Broward Sheriff's Office Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said fire and arson investigators determined that the toy hoverboard was the cause of the fire.

"If I hadn't been here, the whole house probably would have been gone right now," homeowner Lawrence Gaalswyk said.

Gaalswyk said he went to his 15-year-old son's bedroom once he heard the "pop" sound of the hoverboard exploding.

"I saw it from the bedroom -- an orange glow and chunks of plastic and other parts flying out of my son's bedroom," he said.

Authorities said the hoverboard exploded in one bedroom and the explosion sent the batteries flying into another bedroom, where the fire did most of the damage.

"I didn't want to get hit, but they were going across the floor in front of me," Gaalswyk said. "If someone had been in that room, you know, the projectiles were dangerous."

Fire officials said it's important to buy rechargeable items from reputable companies and to be sure that electronics have been properly tested by a reputable consumer lab.

"Don't leave something on charge indefinitely," Jachles added. "The batteries can heat up, the charger can heat up, and those both could conceivably cause fires."

No injuries were reported. Gaalswyk said his children are in Europe, but they will soon find out that there won't be any more hoverboards allowed in the home.

"The hoverboard is not worth it," Gaalswyk said. "There will be no more hoverboards in my house."

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