MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (KMSP) - After a popular children’s ride at the Maplewood Mall caught fire, questions to the ride’s manufacturer remain unanswered as safety concerns linger.
Monday night, a motorized animal scooter ride caught fire after an electrical malfunction, according to a Maplewood Fire Department incident report.
“You don’t really expect to see a fire in a mall in a public place like this," said Matthew Charpentier, a witness. "It was kind of shocking."
Charpentier captured video of the blaze on his cell phone. No one was injured, but Charpentier says the hazard was preventable.
“We walked in, kind of smelled something burn," he said. "We didn’t think anything of it at first."
After a closer look, Charpentier then told the Amusing Rides kiosk attendant the charging cord had melted.
“We told her to unplug it and it was unplugged from the extension cord, but it wasn’t unplugged from the actual ride itself,” said Charpentier.
By the time he left the mall, the plush motorized animal was in flames.
The owner of Amusing Rides told Fox 9 he bought the ridable animals from Giddy Up Rides, which is one of the largest manufacturers of the product.
Wednesday, as Becky McCammon’s two children gleefully took a spin on the scooters at Maplewood Mall, Fox 9 informed her of the fire.
“I think they should send them all back,” said McCammon. “And have the company really go through all of the processes that are appropriate to vet.”
Charpentier agrees--not only to help keep his son safe, but to help protect children everywhere.
“Next time it could be a serious injury," he said. "A kid could get hurt.”
Giddy Up Rides did not respond to several requests for comment.
The owner of Amusing Rides says he considers this a small incident akin to that of a kitchen fire and that children aren't allowed on the scooters while they're charging.