Hoverboard Explosion Leaves Mum in a Coma

A woman in the U.K. was put into an induced coma after a hoverboard battery exploded and set her home ablaze, according to firefighters.

Harrowing footage showed the moment a hoverboard battery exploded feet from the bedroom of 54-year-old Jacqueline Barrett on Saturday, November 13.

Firefighter crews raced to Barrett's home in Smethwick, in the West Midlands, at 5 p.m. where they were met with "a severe fire" that had engulfed the semi-detached home.

Crews from the West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) managed to find Barrett and brought her out of her downstairs bedroom and out of the burning home where she was transferred into the care of paramedics who took her to hospital by ambulance.

Once at the hospital, Barrett, who has multiple sclerosis and heart problems, was put in an induced coma. She remains in hospital.

According to a statement from the WMFS, nearly 30 firefighters tackled the flames and five fire engines and a brigade response vehicle were needed to help put out the fire.

After the fire was extinguished, it was discovered that a hoverboard battery explosion was the cause.

Home security video, shared by WMFS, showed the moment a lithium-ion battery burst and spread its melted contents across the room. Within seconds the machine was ablaze and fire had rapidly spread across the room, engulfing the hoverboard.

Smoke quickly filled the room and more of the molten contents of the hoverboard were flung across the room.

Barrett's son and carer, Shane Johnson, 34, said he wanted to share the footage as a warning to people and encourage them to take more care when charging electric devices.

In a statement shared by WMFS, Johnson 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.

"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."

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."

Newsweek has contacted the WMFS for comment.

WMFS also shared several safety tips for people 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 them 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 safety standards
The hoverboard battery exploded inside the home
The hoverboard battery exploded inside the home West Midlands Fire Service