Attention, holiday shoppers! Just as the Christmas shopping season officially kicks into high gear, news has broken that a popular child's toy burst into flames, seemingly out of nowhere.
Indeed, Toys "R" Us will no longer be selling the Tonka 12V Ride-On Dump Truck, and with good reason.
According to NBC News, Delmond Harden of Bellingham, Washington, purchased the ride-on toy for his grandson at a local Toys "R" Us store last week. Unbelievably, on the way home, the truck burst into flames! Harden was able to put out the blaze, but then, en route to return the flammable would-be Christmas gift, it became engulfed in flames again, setting his own truck on fire. This time, the grandpa called the fire department.
"The firefighter...doused the truck with water and I'm, I still can't believe it, we almost shut (Interstate)-5 down, and it was just a toy for our grandson, who would have known," Harden told NBC News about the terrifying incident. Which of course, makes one wonder if this hadn't happened, could the toy have potentially burst into flames with Harden's grandson riding on it? Shudder.
At least the toy store refunded the shaken grandfather, and apologized to him, according to NBC. In a statement, Toys "R" Us spokesperson Nicole Hayes said that although the manufacturer is not recalling the truck, as it believes what happened to the Hardens is an isolated incident, "We made a proactive decision to pull the item [from shelves] out of an abundance of caution, and an investigation into the incident is currently taking place. In the meantime, we are working closely with Dynacraft, the manufacturer, to determine the cause."
For their part, the manufacturer says, "Dynacraft is working around the clock in cooperation with their supplier and the Toys 'R' Us Management team to identify the cause."
Here's hoping they do, because, um, what happened to Harden is terrifying. And it makes a great case for gifting kids with non-electronic items this Christmas. Good old-fashioned stuffed animals, anyone?
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.