Payless ShoeSource has removed its Jake Lighted Runner shoes from store shelves after a family said the light-up sneakers may have sparked a fire in their SUV.
According to KHOU, Attila and Jovan Virag of Katy, Texas, opened their SUV on Saturday morning to find a hole in the floor and a melted passenger seat. The odor of burning plastic filled the air.
Baffled, they asked the local fire marshal's office to investigate.
"There just wasn't anything in there to start a fire – only clothes and shoes," Jovan told KHOU.
But then the Virags found lithium batteries inside their 2 1/2-year-old son's "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" light-up sneakers – one of which was burnt to a crisp.
Fire officials agreed that the shoe could have started the blaze, but they haven't determined an official cause.
The Virags said they bought the shoes at Payless for $25.
The footwear chain released a statement Tuesday in response to the claims.
"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 the shoe," Payless spokeswoman Meghan Spreer wrote, according to KPRC. "First and foremost, safety is always a top priority at Payless, and we take the claim made by the customer seriously. 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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