March 5, 2016
A family from Wyke in West Yorkshire are claiming compensation for a faulty product bought from Costco that ignited and set fire to their house.
Last Christmas´s present from Vinh Hung Chiem and Thu Tram to their two children Tony (9) and Karen (8) was a hoverboard bought from the Costco store in Leeds. The children loved their gift but, while – on January 15 this year – it was plugged into an electric socket to charge its battery, the hoverboard ignited and set fire to the house.
Fortunately a friend of the children – Jibril Faris (11) – saw the fire start and raised the alarm. After calling 999, Jibril escorted his younger friends out of the house as well as their mother, Thu. All four were taken to hospital by ambulance, where they received treatment for burn injuries. Speaking with a BBC reporter, Thu said that the children were recovering well from their physical injuries, but still suffer from nightmares.
The West Yorkshire Fire Service conducted an investigation into the cause of the fire and confirmed Jibril´s version of events that the fire started where the hoverboard was charging and spread quickly through the house. The likely cause of the fire, according to a Fire Service spokesperson, was that lithium batteries in the hoverboard had overheated while charging and exploded or ignited.
The family has now taken legal advice and are claiming compensation for a faulty product bought from Costco – either from Costco directly under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 or from the manufacturers of the hoverboard under the Consumer Protection Act 1987. A spokesperson for Costco UK said: “This is a terrible tragedy and we are looking into this matter but we have no comment at this time.”
Thu told the BBC reporter: “We thought we bought a reliable product from a trusted retailer and we want to know how something with so much potential to cause this type of devastation was sold to us.”