Dad whose house was destroyed by e-bike fire urges shoppers to buy from legitimate stores

Andrew Beaton outside his home after it was destroyed by a fire caused by an exploding e-bike
Andrew Beaton outside his home after it was destroyed by a fire caused by an exploding e-bike

A man whose house was destroyed when an e-bike he'd bought as a Christmas present exploded is urging people to avoid buying electrical goods from online marketplaces and stick to reputable retailers.

Andrew Beaton, from Lancaster, had bought the bike for his son and had plugged it in to charge overnight when it caught on fire.

Andrew said: “An innocent purchase I bought online from a marketplace destroyed our home and left us with nothing.

"Like any parent I wanted to see my kids smile on Christmas day.

"The e-bike was a Christmas gift for my son, something I thought he’d love but when it was charging overnight by the stairs it went off like a grenade.

"Our stairs caught alight and my family were minutes from not making it out alive. Since the fire our home was so damaged we couldn’t live in it.

"We were left without our home for six months, only moving back in last week."

With electrical items more popular than ever as a presents, the charity Electrical Safety First has urging shoppers to stick to reputable high street or trusted retailers in the lead up to Christmas, to ensure what they place under the tree is safe.

It is a cause Andrew has joined forces with in hopes he can help anyone else avoid when he went through.

"My children are still affected by the fire," he said.

"The trauma of it doesn’t leave you when you’re faced with flames in the middle of the night like we were, nobody can understand what it’s like seeing your home go up in flames until it happens to them.

"This Christmas I am so grateful my family are alive and safe. If it hadn’t have been for my son getting up in the night for a glass of water and noticing the fire starting I don’t think we’d all be here today.

"I want to warn other people out there shopping online for Christmas gifts to be careful. I thought what I was buying would be safe but it was a ticking time bomb.

"Stick to your reputable high street retailers if you can, nobody wants to end up buying a gift that risks the safety of your family.”

The fire destroyed the family's belongings Credit: ITV Granada

A survey carried out by Electrical Safety First found of more than 4,000 adults across the UK 52% said they intended to, or have already done, the majority of their Christmas shopping for electronics via online marketplaces, whilst just 37% will turn to the high street or high street stores online.

Just under a quarter (24%) of Christmas shoppers also said they intended to spend less this year, with the cost of living crisis the leading factor in households cutting back on present purchasing.

Chief Executive, Lesley Rudd, said: “Many households have struggled in yet another year of financial pressure and are desperately seeking to keep the cost of Christmas down.

"But their scramble for air fryers and other must-have electronics this year could leave them vulnerable, with ruthless sellers on online marketplaces looking to cash in on Christmas at the expense of shoppers’ safety.”

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