Hoverboards May Not Hover, But they Do Spontaneously Combust

A red self-balancing two-wheeled board with a person standing on it.
A red self-balancing two-wheeled board with a person standing on it. Photo courtesy Soar Boards (

As consumers continue to ignore the ban on using hoverboards in New York, the chances of seeing fires and explosions from these devices here mounts. For instance, last week New York saw its first hoverboard fire which began when a hover-board that was charging began to smoke, and then caught on fire.

No one was hurt, but the fire department was summoned to put out the blaze in a Brooklyn apartment. Anyone caught using a hoverboard in New York is faced with a $200 fine. The popular contraption, which does not “hover” but rather rolls along quite attached to the ground, with wheels, has been exploding and catching fire throughout the United States. It is believed that faulty batteries are the source of the danger.

The Brooklyn owner of the hover-board was charging his machine inside his sixth-floor apartment in the Kingsborough Houses in Crown Heights. At about 5pm on Tuesday the device began to smoke. The owner then became frightened and took his toy out of the apartment and placed it in the hallway, where it burst into flames.   Luckily firefighters arrived in time to put out the fire before any additional damage was caused.


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)