Melbourne home destroyed by hoverboard fire

A hoverboard has reportedly burned down a family home in Melbourne, in what could be the first incident of its kind in Australia.

The Christmas gift was charging in a child’s bedroom at the Lebanon Street, Strathmore residence on Monday evening when it caught fire, according to the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB).

The flames quickly spread through the room, with the family of five unaware as they watched television in a front room of the property.

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They were alerted to the blaze when a fire alarm sounded, but by the time they reached the room it was engulfed in flames.

Firefighters were called to the home about 6pm on Monday, and it took seven vehicles and more than 20 firefighters about half an hour to bring it under control.

They remained at the home during the evening to monitor the property.

“The rear of the brick split level home has been severely fire damaged with the remainder, and its contents, suffering damage by water, fire and smoke,” the MFB said in a statement to The New Daily.

The family evacuated with their pets, and have sought alternative accommodation.

“We are unsure at this stage on whether it was the charger, the cables or the cords that started the blaze but it’s just very lucky no one was injured,” Mr Smith told News Corp.

“These toys have been very controversial so I would suggest if you or your family member have one, to keep an eye on where in the house it is charged and make sure there are no toys or flammable items around.”

Specialist MFB fire investigators would further investigate the cause on Tuesday morning.

Experts have previously warned consumers that dodgy hoverboards can unexpectedly catch fire.

It is believed the lithium ion battery that powers the board can overheat, causing the board to light up. An expert told The New Daily in December that well-designed battery technology should prevent over-charging, but that hoverboards failed to do this.

Before Christmas, fears of the boards self-combusting saw them removed from many retailers, including Amazon. Many commercial airlines in the US, UK and Australia have also banned the toy.

The unwavering policy recently caught out Australian actor Russell Crowe, prompting him to launch onto the offensive against Virgin Australia for preventing his family from flying.

They are illegal to ride in public in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and the ACT.

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