In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Friday, a 3-year-old toddler died from a fire blamed on a recharging hoverboard. Two of her other family members were critically injured in the blaze. A fire department official, who was attempting to respond to the scene was also critically injured when his vehicle was hit in an intersection. The fire was reported just before 8 p.m.
Fox43 reported that firefighters responded to the scene of a fire in Harrisburg, on Lexington Street, in the 2500 block, at approximately 7:45 p.m. The firefighters encountered fire and heavy smoke on the first floor, and said they found numerous people were trapped inside the home.
ABC 13 reported that authorities in Harrisburg said the fire that killed the toddler, a three-year-old girl, appears to have been caused by a hoverboard that was recharging. Besides the two family members, both girls, who were critically injured in the fire, and the fireman who was critically injured while responding to the scene, two other family members, both females, were rescued using a ladder. A man was also rescued. The Washington Post reported that one person in the residence jumped from a second-floor roof.
Hughes “was airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital, Cedar Crest Friday night.” The Lehigh County coroner’s office said the toddler was pronounced dead shortly after 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. Two others who were not injured as badly in the fire, a man and a teenage boy were treated at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. They were released on Saturday.
The fireman who was critically injured while responding to the blaze was 21-year veteran Lt. Dennis DeVoe. Fire Chief Brian Enterline said that DeVoe was hit by another vehicle at an intersection, while he was en route to the station house to pick up his gear before making his way to the scene of the fire.
DeVoe was rushed to Hershey Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition. Officials said the driver of the vehicle that struck DeVoe was arrested for aggravated assault. He was also booked on other charges. The vehicle he was driving had been reported as stolen.
Fire Chief Enterline said the fire that killed the toddler in Harrisburg was ruled as accidental. It was blamed on a recharging hoverboard.
Enterline said family members in the home heard sizzling and crackling noises coming from the hoverboard shortly before it exploded into flames. He mentioned that hoverboards are “notorious for starting fires.” Enterline warned consumers against purchasing knockoff brands, which are not considered safe by UL, formerly Underwriters Laboratories standards. The investigation into the fire is ongoing.
By John Samuels