Michiana man burned by toy helicopter

By: Alana Greenfogel Email
By: Alana Greenfogel Email

The words "toy" and "recall" have been used together quite often. But this isn't a story about lead. This is a story about fire.

Robert James from Union Pier, Michigan bought a remote controlled helicopter. He was following directions and charged the chopper for a few minutes.

"So I went ahead and charged it. And I picked up the helicopter and when I unplugged it--got ready to fly it--it went off like a road flare," James explains.

James was using the Soft Air USA Fun2Fly Microcopter. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says it's received six reports of the product catching fire. In addition, 20 reports from other manufacturers since November 2007.

"It is not often that we get so many reports in such a short amount of time. This is concerning us at the CPSC," explains Spokeswoman Patty Davis. "Rechargeable lithium batteries have a lot of energy in a small package so consumers really need to use caution when charging and handling them."

James says he's thankful he only slightly burned his thumb and his couch. He worries what could have happened with the toy that is approved for children eight and older.

"I'm sure an eight year old isn't going to have the same response as an adult on what do to with it. He might have grabbed it and just threw it in the room or something and caught on fire," James says.

CPSC advises you not to leave the toy unattended while its charging and charge the toy on a non-flammable surface. Also, do not allow children to charge the battery alone.


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