: Christmas toy sets my house on fire



turbojimmy
12-26-05, 02:25 PM
So my brother got my son and my sister's son the "Dragonfly King" remote control helicopter for Christmas. It was his favorite gift and was actually kind of neat. We were playing with it in my finished basement today when it stopped abruptly. I had just charged it so I thought it was strange. I shut it off and started walking toward the storage room where I had the charger plugged in on my work bench.

I noticed the helicopter cockpit was smoking.

At that point I wasn't sure what to do. Not really expecting what was about to happen to happen, I grabbed it by the tail and started walking toward the glass sliders to toss it outside. But it started to smoke A LOT and before I could reach the door the f'n thing EXPLODED. My son was sitting on the floor playing with his Hot Wheels toy and the debris just missed him. He freaked out.

I was shocked, and a bit panicked. This thing showered down about 50 pieces of flaming debris. Some bigger than others. In about a 6-foot radius I had a number of decent sized spots on my carpet that were on fire. I had thrown the flaming helicopter onto the ceramic tile by the back door. I yelled "FIRE" and my wife, used to me yelling strange things, didn't react. I yelled "FIRE" a few more times and she came running. She tossed the flaming helicopter outside while I grabbed the nearest object - my son's favorite "car blanket" and smothered the flames with it.

So there I was. The room full of smelly nylon smoke, the favorite gift having destroyed itself, and the smoldering favorite blanket in hand. My son was pretty upset and so was I.

In retrospect, given all possible scenarios this was probably close to best. No one got hurt. It would've been better if I had made it outside but I just didn't make it. All that got hurt was the $3,000 carpet which someone other than me is certainly going to pay for.

Link to pics is below. Every black spot on the carpet was a spot that was on fire. It was unreal.

http://www.turbojimmy.com/dragonfly/dragonfly.html

Jim

mccombie_5
12-26-05, 02:31 PM
Wow

Glad everyone was ok Jim, shame about the carpet though.

Its a shame :nono:

Childrens toys still as dangerous as in the 1970s then :D

MacKiNBacK
12-26-05, 02:34 PM
Wow Jim!! Thats horrible. Luckly no one was hurt. Might be worth talking to the manufacturer about. Im sure it's not every day remote controlled gadgets explode into fireballs. And for a $3000 carpet it couldnt hurt. What's the make of the helicopter? Others might want to stay away from them. Well good luck with whatever you do.

MacK

Kev
12-26-05, 02:36 PM
Wow! Glad no one was hurt and the physical damage seems to be limited to the carpet and the blanket. Any idea what caused it to overheat and blow like that? What about your nephew's copter?

Hope everything works out well for you.

slk230mb
12-26-05, 02:54 PM
Wow, I'm glad everyone is ok.

urbanski
12-26-05, 03:03 PM
i wonder where you report stuff like this (some consumer advocacy thing) so it can be widely publicised and recalled....

and i sure hope the manufacturer pays. sorry man :(

Katshot
12-26-05, 03:06 PM
Sure glad no one was hurt. Do you think it was a defective battery? I've heard of cell phones blowing up due to bad aftermarket batteries, maybe this is a similar thing.

powerglide
12-26-05, 03:19 PM
Good Lord!
Glad everyones ok.

But damned, what hassle once again.....you just got done dealin with the girl damaging your bumper....now you gotta deal with consumer affairs....

I thought this kinda stuff only happened on CNN, sorry to hear it.

mccombie_5
12-26-05, 04:01 PM
Love the new siggy Tom!

That Deville is looking fabulous!

turbojimmy
12-26-05, 04:28 PM
Sure glad no one was hurt. Do you think it was a defective battery? I've heard of cell phones blowing up due to bad aftermarket batteries, maybe this is a similar thing.

I think it had to be the battery. The company is "HX Toys". It's a Hong Kong-based company, I think. The instructions were written in broken english. I'll have to go after the vendor, the distributor and the importer.

I'm glad no one got hurt, but I have 800 sq. ft. of carpet down in the basement. There's nowhere to cut in a new piece - it would all need replaced. It's about 2 years old and I've been real anal about keeping it clean. It's a light color so I use a steam cleaner to keep it looking decent. I never considered it catching fire. It sucks because the carpet is in the closets, up the stairs, etc. It's going to be a pain to replace.

I filed a complaint with the CPSC. Then I called my lawyer - he thinks I have a good case. I just want the damage taken care of, that's all.

Jim

Sandy
12-26-05, 05:02 PM
Youy beat me to it. I was gonna say bet ya it's made in China! I've read about these bustin' into flames, but I cannot recall where or when. These manufacturers are not under the rules that American manufacturers are and they make a few such toys, and then "go out of business" and then begin anew under a new name, for ever playing the "shell game" with their name. It's sad. Sorry for what happened to you, when you so innociently were playing with a child's toy. Do as I do. Stick with American or Canadian made "stuff". Just think.....soon they are going to be building cars and shipping them HERE! Owners will tell how fantastic they are, and what crap American cars are. Don't bite.

JimHare
12-26-05, 05:10 PM
Jeeze, TJimmy, that sounds like something out of National Lampoon or something...what exactly burnt? The thing didn't use gasoline or anything for a fuel, did it? Could a battery-powered engine generate enough heat to set the plastic on fire?...

Sounds like maybe you got one of those "special models" that had been set up for the CIA to send to Castro...

Glad that all are survivors, though.

Randy_W
12-26-05, 05:28 PM
Looks like pilot error to me!:bigroll:
Just kidding, glad nobody was injured, maybe next year Santa will bring you a fire extinguisher.

turbojimmy
12-26-05, 06:43 PM
I wish I had a video of it. The only thing that would have been more National Lampoon-ish is if it had burst into flames in mid-air. Instead, it exploded while I was carrying it. Being the smart guy that I am, I was holding the part of the helicopter that wasn't smoking.

Jim

Playdrv4me
12-26-05, 06:45 PM
Looks like pilot error to me!

lol

Im sure it was a Battery Short. With such cheap manufacturing techniques and low grade wiring etc. its bound to happen every once in a while. The battery leads are supposed to be well isolated from eachother and Im sure they came in contact somewhere, either internally, or in the wiring, which would explain the explosion. Theres nothing else in there to explode.

Its exactly the same as what happens with those cheap replacement cell phone batteries.

SilverFleetwood85
12-26-05, 08:17 PM
Wow, I had no idea that a childs toy with a rechargable battery could catch on fire, and then explode. Glad that no body was injured. Did you buy the toy at a store or from a catalog? The reason I asked this is that I believe I saw the same toy in a catalog.

AlBundy
12-26-05, 11:40 PM
I also am interested, because I was intending on buying one of those gas type of helecopters for (me and) my 15yr son. I would appreciate your imput but I found it strange that you were operating it in the house. If it's that precise of a copter depending on what you say I will investigate it.

powerglide
12-27-05, 03:42 AM
Love the new siggy Tom!
That Deville is looking fabulous!

Thanks!
:thumbsup: .....new rims :)

nutinbutctsv
12-27-05, 05:00 AM
Whoa, I'm glad that you and your family are okay. My kid's bought me a remote control Corvette. Not that my toy is made by the same manufacturer as your helicopter, but I will keep my eye out for issues surrounding the charger and battery. I can tell by the box and graphics that my RC Corvette was made somewhere overseas (China maybe?). Thanks for sharing and the heads up.

turbojimmy
12-27-05, 08:21 AM
Wow, I had no idea that a childs toy with a rechargable battery could catch on fire, and then explode. Glad that no body was injured. Did you buy the toy at a store or from a catalog? The reason I asked this is that I believe I saw the same toy in a catalog.

Evidently you can only get them online. I think Target and Toys R Us online stores carry them. My brother got them from some online source, but not either one of those.

As far as the gas operated ones go, I wouldn't worry about them. They're made for outdoor use and if price is any indication they're a lot better built. This little thing is made specifically for indoor use (the slightest wind would goof it up).

It was a pretty violent explosion for such a tiny toy. I was, and still am, shocked at the damage it caused.

Jim

Jesda
12-27-05, 08:27 AM
Now I know what to buy for the people I hate.

ewill3rd
12-27-05, 09:11 AM
That's why I have 4 small fire extinguishers in my home.
They don't cost much, and you never know when someone's favorite blanket won't be enough to put out a fire.

Glad no one was hurt and that you're house is not badly damaged. That certainly could have turned out a lot worse.
Make sure to let us know if the toy company steps up to the plate on this one.

turbojimmy
12-27-05, 09:19 AM
That's why I have 4 small fire extinguishers in my home.
They don't cost much, and you never know when someone's favorite blanket won't be enough to put out a fire.
Glad no one was hurt and that you're house is not badly damaged. That certainly could have turned out a lot worse.
Make sure to let us know if the toy company steps up to the plate on this one.

I have one fire extinguisher in the garage. It was a flight of stairs away. It was the first thing that went through my mind. Do I run upstairs and get it, thus letting the fire burn some more? I decided to take my chances with the blanket.

I'm definitely going to buy another one today for the basement.

Jim

ewill3rd
12-27-05, 11:41 AM
I keep one in my kitchen, one in the basement, and I think I have two on the upstairs level including one right by the bed.... just in case ;)
LOL

turbojimmy
01-05-06, 08:40 PM
Quick update.....

I filed a claim with my insurance company for the damage to the carpet. I have to pay $500 out-of-pocket until they can recover from the manufacturer.

My lawyer is preparing a lawsuit against the retailer, importer and manufacturer for the damage to my kid's psyche.

The Consumer Product Safety Commision is coming by tomorrow at noon to gather evidence to send back to 'the lab' in D.C.

Jim

iametarq
01-06-06, 10:11 AM
good thing no one was hurt, melting plastic and hot nylon can sure cause some burns on the skin. i speak from experience.:bigroll:

Kev
01-06-06, 02:05 PM
Quick update.....

I filed a claim with my insurance company for the damage to the carpet. I have to pay $500 out-of-pocket until they can recover from the manufacturer.

My lawyer is preparing a lawsuit against the retailer, importer and manufacturer for the damage to my kid's psyche.

The Consumer Product Safety Commision is coming by tomorrow at noon to gather evidence to send back to 'the lab' in D.C.

JimNot 'The Lab'! :holycrap:

Hope they come up with good stuff in your favor.

turbojimmy
01-06-06, 02:28 PM
Not 'The Lab'! :holycrap:

Hope they come up with good stuff in your favor.

Yep. He just left - with the helicopter and packaging. They carry around badges and wear trench coats just like the FBI. He was a really nice guy. He gave me a receipt to send to the importer indicating that the feds took it so my bro can get his money back. He was pretty amazed that a childs toy fragged like that.

Jim