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Man Sues Hoverboard Maker Swagway Over Fire That Damaged His Home

A Chappaqua, New York, man says a self-balancing electric scooter he bought for his children as a Hanukkah present suddenly burst into flames.
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In another black mark for the hoverboard industry, a New York man is suing hoverboard maker Swagway, saying a self-balancing electric scooter he bought for his children as a Hanukkah present suddenly burst into flames and damaged his home.

Michel Brown of Chappaqua filed the lawsuit last week in U.S. District Court in Indiana against South Bend, Indiana-based Swagway and Modell’s Sporting Goods Inc., where he purchased the $399 device online in late November.

According to the lawsuit, the family opened Swagway hoverboard box on Dec. 6, the first night of Hannukah, and used it for about 30 minutes. When the device indicated the battery was low, the family plugged it into an electrical outlet per the instructions. About 45 minutes later, the lawsuit said, the gadget burst into flames, igniting the packaging materials.

"The fire was so substantial that the fire department had to respond to the scene. The fire destroyed the Swagway Hoverboard and damaged Plaintiff’s home," the lawsuit said.

No injuries were reported but the Chappaqua Fire Department said the house sustained “considerable” smoke damage.

Related: Amazon Cracks Down on 'Hoverboards' After Fire Reports

Brown's lawsuit, which seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, contends the Swagway hoverboard "was inherently defectively designed or manufactured."

Swagway did not immediately respond to a request from NBC News for comment.

In a statement, Modell's said: "Investigations are being conducted to try to determine why this one Swagway, out of the tens of thousands sold by multiple retailers, appears to have been involved in a fire. The Swagway brand is the only hoverboard sold by Modell’s Sporting Goods." The company said it will "vigorously defend against the claims made in the complaint."

Swagway said earlier this week that its hoverboards meet all applicable safety standards. That statement came after pulled multiple scooter brands from its site, including the popular Swagway line, due to safety concerns.

Related: U.S. Safety Regulators Step Up Probe of Hoverboards Over Fire Risk

Several airlines have banned hoverboards from planes.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission told NBC News earlier this week that it is investigating a rash of fires involving hoverboards, as well as numerous reports of people being injured after falling off the self-balancing scooters.