Hoverboard fire destroys Australia family's home

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Media captionRobert Purcell from Metropolitan Fire Brigade: "There was total devastation"

An Australian family of five has been left homeless after a hoverboard given as a Christmas gift sparked a fire.

Fire crews said the popular electrical product was charging in a girl's bedroom in the Melbourne suburb of Strathmore when the blaze started.

Local media said the girl saw sparks coming out of the hoverboard.

Metropolitan Fire Brigade Acting Commander Phil Smith said the family was lucky to escape unhurt, but the home was severely damaged.

"It overheated for some reason and caught fire and no one saw it till it was too late," Acting Commander Smith said.

Image copyright @MFB_NEWS
Image caption The charred remains of the offending hoverboard
Image copyright MFB Media
Image caption Firefighters said power boards may have altered the current flow to charging devices

"In this case the family was fortunate to be able to get out of the house."

He said it served as a warning not to leave charging items unattended.

Last year UK consumer protection agency National Trading Standards found that 88% of the self-balancing boards they examined could explode or catch fire.

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