EVERETT, Wash. -- Investigators say an electric skateboard likely caused an apartment fire in Everett Wednesday that left a family homeless.
Everett Fire says the skateboard’s batteries likely failed, causing the fire.
“What our investigation confirmed is that there was a skateboard that was charging for a few hours,” said Steve Goforth Everett Fire PIO . “And the gentleman woke up to a loud bang and looked over and saw the skateboard was actually sparking.”
Brian Shilling tells KOMO News his electric skateboard caught fire while plugged into the charger.
“I woke up to loud sounds,” Shilling said. “I looked over and it was spewing sparks and battery acid like a sparkler.”
Everett Fire says the flames caused about $80,000 worth of damage, mostly contained to Brian’s bedroom. They credit him for closing the door as he fled.
“Closing the door reduced the damage significantly,” Goforth said. “Giving us time that the fire did not grow.”
Jack Shouman is a private fire investigator working with the insurance company on the apartment fire.
“I’m seeing a skateboard that’s literally been burned in half, at or around the point where it holds batteries,” Shouman told KOMO. “And these are the lithium ion batteries that we’ve had so many problems with in the past.”
Lithium batteries have reportedly failed in several products, including hover boards. A mother in Boise says the lithium-ion battery inside her son’s sippy cup exploded in January.
Now Brian and his mother Heather are staying in a motel, using funds from the Red Cross.
Heather moved into that apartment last October after a year and half living in a shelter and her car. They fear they’ll end up homeless again.
“We worked really hard and we never did anything wrong,” Heather Shilling said. “I’m trying to figure out what we did wrong. Where my karma went bad.”