Girl who tried to save younger children from hoverboard house fire dies from injuries
A 10-year-old girl who was severely injured trying to save younger children in her home as it went up in flames Friday has died, according to the Lehigh County Coroner's Office.
Family members wrote on a GoFundMe page the girl, Savannah Dominick, is their "hero here on Earth as she is in Heaven."
Savannah was the second child to die as a result of the fire. Ashanti Hughes, 3, died Saturday from injuries suffered during the fire and a GoFundMe was set up by her family as well.
Harrisburg Fire Chief Brian Enterline said the fire was an "absolute fireball" and one of the worst fires he had seen in a long time.
Neighbors recalled seeing people frantic in the street, hollering and screaming that children were in the home as firefighters arrived on scene Friday night.
Charles Allen says he saw two young girls screaming from the second story of the building and someone trying to kick out the window before hearing the sound he will never forget.
"Then all of a sudden I hear a child hit the ground, boom," he said.
Watching this happen Allen ran toward the girl and scooped her up.
“Everybody was frantic, hollering, screaming and what not, so I was taking her to the ambulance” he says.
Firefighters managed to pull out the rest of the people trapped inside the home.
Fire officials say a father and teenage boy were taken to the hospital and now are doing okay.
Savannah, Ashanti Hughes and another child were taken to the hospital.
Savannah and Ashanti later died from their injuries and the third unidentified child is still in the hospital.
Officials investigating the fire ruled it accidental and said a hoverboard had exploded while charging in the home, causing the fire. Officials say the two girls' deaths would be the first in the U.S. to be caused by a hoverboard fire.
Enterline is encouraging anyone who has a hoverboard to get rid of it now.
"We will be working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission so they can start their investigation," Enterline said.
The CPSC is also trying to figure out if the make and model is one of the hundreds of thousands the agency has recalled due to fire hazard.
In a statement to CBS21 News, the CPSC stated:
My thoughts and prayers are with the two children, Ashanti and Savannah, who were lost in this tragic fire as well their families. Another child is still in the hospital and I hope she is able to recover from her injuries.
CPSC staff is conducting a priority investigation into this tragedy. Our investigators are actively working to follow up on the report that the fire, as indicated by the Harrisburg Fire Department, was started by a self-balancing scooter/hoverboard. A CPSC field investigator is working closely with officials from the fire department. We very much appreciate their cooperation.
An important part of our investigation is determining the make and model of the hoverboard. We want to know whether the hoverboard was a previously recalled model or a different model that would need further analysis by CPSC technical staff.
I urge consumers who own a hoverboard to check to see if it has been recalled. Consumers should know that last year’s recall of more than 500,000 hoverboards by 11 different companies is still active. It is not too late for consumers to receive a refund or replacement battery, depending upon the hoverboard company.
If a consumer is looking to buy a hoverboard today, whether online or in a store, they should look for a mark or other indication that the product meets the Underwriters Laboratories standard UL 2272. The standard aims to prevent the battery and electrical components in a hoverboard from overheating and catching fire. CPSC has been very engaged with UL, battery manufacturers and other stakeholders since the start of our product-wide investigation in the fall of 2015. Since 2015, CPSC staff has investigated more than 60 fires and tested dozens of self-balancing boards in our laboratory.
Please follow the safety tips CPSC has for all consumers who own a hoverboard: (1) do not charge them overnight, (2) do not charge them in an area of the home that is unattended, and (3) have working smoke alarms and a fire extinguisher nearby.
The agency has investigated more than 60 hoverboard-related fires.
Harrisburg City officials also stressed the importance of checking smoke detector batteries, having a working fire extinguisher and knowing how to use it. Enterline encourages families to have an escape plan and to most importantly, call 911 immediately.
Councilman Cornelius Johnson is collecting gift cards for the family and can be contacted through email Ctjohnson@cityofhbg.com or by phone 717-307-6977.