Toddler’s Light-Up Shoes Blamed For Igniting Car Fire

Light-up shoes are a staple for kids, but now their safety is being called into question.

A Texas couple is speaking out after an unusual car fire that they believe was caused by their 2-year-old son’s light-up sneakers. Atilla and Jovan Virag woke Saturday morning to find the charred remains of a fire in the backseat of their SUV.

Their son had kicked off his “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” sneakers on Friday night and left them on the floor of the car. The Virags believe the lithium ion batteries inside the sneakers, which they purchased last fall at their local Payless ShoeSource store, may be responsible for igniting the blaze.

“There just wasn’t anything in there to start a fire — only shoes and clothes,” mom Jovan told local news station KHOU. “I’m just glad that my son wasn’t wearing them at the time. I don’t know if he could have told me his foot was hot, and I don’t think he could have taken it off by himself.”

The Harris County Fire Marshal Office is investigating the incident and has yet to make an official determination of the cause. In the meantime, Payless issued a statement on Monday, saying safety is a top priority.

“We take the claim made by the customer seriously,” said spokeswoman Meghan Spreer. “We have contacted the family, and we will work with them and local authorities to better understand the circumstances of the fire and what may have caused it.”

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