Mum left fighting for life after hoverboard battery explodes into fireball

By Bradley Stokes

Horrifying footage captures the moment a hoverboard battery exploded, sparking a huge blaze which left a mum fighting for her life in a coma.

Jacqueline Barrett, 54, has been in hospital in a coma after the device burst into flames while it was charging just feet away from her bedroom on Saturday.

Video taken from a home security camera shows the lithium ion battery spewing its molten contents across the downstairs living room, quickly setting the room alight.

Jacqueline - who suffers from multiple sclerosis and heart problems and is bed bound - was rushed to hospital after the fire tore through her property in Smethwick, West Mids.

Jacqueline Barrett, 54, has been in hospital in a coma (Shane Johnson / SWNS)

Her son Shane Johnson, 34, has today released footage of the dramatic blast, as a stark warning to others to take care when charging electrical items.

Shane, who is also his mum's carer, said: "It's awful. My mum's really ill in hospital. The fire and smoke damage to the house is just unbelievable.

"Mum called me moments after it happened, to say there'd been some sort of explosion.

"The first thing I did was call the fire service, then got in the car to get to her as quickly as possible.

The damage done to the house by the fire caused by the battery exploding (Shane Johnson / SWNS)

"I called my dad and some friends. Some got there before me, and dad had tried to kick the door in to get to mum, but the heat from the fire was just too much.”

He said the shocking incident should act as a warning about leaving things unattended, or plugged in when they’re fully charged.

“It could happen to anyone,” he added.

Crews from West Midlands Fire Service rushed to the scene just after 5pm, to rescue Jacqueline from her downstairs bedroom.

The hoverboard that exploded (Shane Johnson / SWNS)
Jacqueline's son has released footage of the horror blast (Shane Johnson / SWNS)

A total of five fire engines and a brigade response vehicle, crewed by a total of nearly 30 firefighters, were called to tackle the fire on Stony Lane.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus located and brought Jacqueline out of the semi-detached property and she was taken to hospital by ambulance.

A fire investigator has confirmed that the fire was started accidentally, as a result of the hoverboard being charged in the house.

Crews from West Midlands Fire Service rushed to the scene just after 5pm (Shane Johnson / SWNS)

Pete Wilson, WMFS's Strategic Lead for Prevention, described the incident as “horrific” and thanked Shane for allowing the force to share the footage.

"It should send a clear warning to people to take utmost care when charging electrical items. The warning is particularly timely in the run up to Christmas, when we know people will be buying electrical items.

"Please - always buy goods from reputable retailers and check they meet British safety standards."

"Our thoughts are with Jacqueline, her family and friends at such a difficult time,” he added.


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