A brand of “light up shoe” that could have caught on fire in Texas family’s car this weekend have been pulled from the shelves of a popular shoe store.
The family bought shoes that light up, which are sold at Payless Shoe Store nationwide.
"There was nothing in there to start a fire,” Jovan Virag, whose car caught fire, said.
The Virag family said a few days later the battery in the shoes started a fire in their car.
The family from Houston, Texas is speaking out to create awareness of what they say are dangerous lithium batteries in the light-up shoes they bought at Payless Shoe stores.
They said no one was in the car, just some clothes and the Jake and the Neverland pirate shoes that burned a hole through the car floor and melted the passenger seat.
"I'm just glad my son wasn't wearing it at the time,” Virag said.
The fire marshal has not confirmed it was in fact the shoe that caused the fire, but the family says it is pretty obvious by looking at the half-charred shoe that remains. In the meantime, in Connecticut and around the country, the potentially dangerous shoes have sparked concern.
“That is something to think about. The safety, what we are allowing our children to wear,” Bernadette Myers, of New Britain, said.
“They'll have to do a lot more testing to find out if it's safe to have that technology in the shoe,” Rita Lomasney, of Glastonbury, said.
Eyewitness News reached out to Payless to ask if they have ever received any complaints about the Jake and the Neverland Pirate shoes or any other light-up shoe.
"Out of an abundance of caution we have removed the Boys’ Jake Lighted Runner from our shelves until we can thoroughly investigate a customer claim regarding that shoe. 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," a Payless spokesperson said on Tuesday.
In the meantime, the Virag family said they will now find other types of shoes for their 2-year-old son Warren.
"I didn't know there is a lithium battery in there that can short it,” Attila Virag said. “We won't buy them anymore"
Eyewitness News also asked Payless to confirm if this Jake and the Neverland Pirate light-up shoe is made specifically for them or if it is sold in other chain stores as well. They did not provide an answer.
Meantime, if you have had similar problems with your child's light up shoes, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. To check their website for any current or future recalls, click here or call 800-638-2772.
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