Houston-area mall evacuated after hoverboard catches fire

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[December 29, 2015]  By Amanda Orr
 HOUSTON (Reuters) - A suburban Houston mall was evacuated for nearly an hour on Monday after a hoverboard caught fire inside the sprawling structure, an official said.

The hoverboard had been returned to a kiosk inside Deerbrook Mall because it was not charging properly, according to a Humble Fire Department spokesperson.

The kiosk owner attempted to charge it, but was unsuccessful, so put the skateboard-like electronic device back in the box. The hoverboard then caught fire.

A witness video posted to local TV broadcaster KHOU shows what is purported to be the incident with the object bursting into flames while a bystander screams.

A mall employee discharged two dry chemical extinguishers. The mall was evacuated for 45 minutes in order to clean the area.

The mall, about 20 miles northeast of Houston, has since reopened and removed all hoverboards, according to the Humble Fire Department.

"The fire was quickly extinguished. There were no injuries or damage to property," mall management said in a statement.

Deerbrook Mall, opened in 1984, houses 143 retails stores.

(Reporting by Amanda Orr; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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