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Payless Pulls Light Up Toddler Sneakers on Fire Fears

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on May 12, 2016 3:58 PM

If you have had cause to shop for kids' gear in the last few years then you know that there's a lot of fun stuff out there now. New technologies allow for new materials to be integrated into fabrics, resulting in wondrous items like sneakers that roll or light up, or both.

But Payless Shoe Source this week pulled some illuminated sneakers after a Texas family reported that the shoes were flammable, according to the Huffington Post. Luckily, the little boy whose Jake and the Neverland Pirates sneakers burned was not wearing them when the fire occurred and was not hurt. The company says it is investigating the cause of the fire and has removed the shoes from store shelves for now. The boy's mother, however, blames the battery.

Illuminating Every Step

In order to illuminate the steps of small children, the themed sneakers contain lithium ion batteries. Joann Virag of Houston thinks that the batteries on her two-year-old son's sneaks caught fire and burned her car. The sneakers were left in the car overnight and when Virga returned the next morning she found them charred. "I saw the shoe on the ground with the wires sticking up and it was a lightbulb, I knew immediately that's what it was," Virag told reporters.

But fire officials are being more circumspect and said the cause is still under investigation. And Payless Shoe Source is also being cautious. The company issued a statement, saying, "We are continuing to work with the family and local authorities in Houston to better understand the circumstances of the car fire and what may have caused it."

Battery Trouble?

Although authorities are not saying the batteries are to blame, Joanne Virag does make a reasonable point. In recent years lithium ion batteries have been increasingly used in consumer products and there have been injuries. Electronic cigarette smokers have been burned after battery defects caused their devices to explode, for example.


If you have been injured due to a defective product, speak to a lawyer. Many attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to assess your claim.

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