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Hoverboard 'explodes' at mall kiosk in Washington state

Hoverboard 'explodes' at mall kiosk in Washington state (Source: CNN)

AUBURN, Wash. (KOMO)-- No one was injured when a hoverboard caught fire at a mall in Auburn Tuesday morning.

Witnesses describe hearing an explosion and seeing flames erupting from the popular device in a hallway of The Outlet Collection around 11:30 am. An employee from a mall kiosk that sells the boards was demonstrating how they work when another board caught fire, shoppers said.

"It just exploded -- just combusted into flames for no reason," said Kelli Steiner of Orting, who was shopping for Christmas when the fire erupted. "The alarms went off. Smoke everywhere. Just a really strong smell."

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Steiner shot video of the incident. It shows other mall workers grabbing fire extinguishers to put out the flames.

"For no apparent reason, it just exploded," Steiner said. "No one was on it. No one was touching it."


Fire crews on the scene believe the battery-powered device "had overheated," said Kelly Tyson, a spokeswoman at the Valley Regional Fire Authority.

"It had been taken outside before we arrived," Tyson said in an email.

A mall spokesman wasn't sure which kiosk had been selling the hoverboards or who manufactured the one that caught fire.

"When I saw that explosion, it was really startling, thinking, what if someone was on there?" said Nicole Cullen, another shopper and witness. "That's why I was really shocked. I have a good friend that bought one for her son."

"After it was covered with fire retardant, it still exploded again," she continued. "All I could see was the hoverboard on fire."

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