By Dillon Thomas

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – A family in Highlands Ranch is warning others after a lithium polymer battery designed for a remote control car exploded in their home. The Venom battery was charging in a child’s room, when it unexpectedly exploded.

“It was unbelievably scary,” said Melanie Harnish, the homeowner.

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Harnish said she was in the kitchen of her home, when she heard a loud bang. At first, she thought something fell. However, when the smoke alarms started to go off, she noticed smoke coming from the upper level of the home.

“We went from eating a sandwich, to putting out a fire,” Harnish said.

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The fire quickly burned the carpet and made its way along the baseboard of the home. The battery itself melted.

Her son, Austin, was on his way home from the park when the battery exploded in his room. The battery was only a foot away from the bed he sleeps in.

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“It took the entire extinguisher to put out a battery that is the size of a stick of butter,” Melanie Harnish said.

“I was riding my bike home, and saw the fire department running in to our house,” Austin said.
“I could have been in here when it happened, and it could have been pretty bad.”

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The Harnish family said firefighters were concerned with how hot the fire from the battery was.

Residue from the explosion covered Austin’s room, and sent ash throughout the house.

Melanie Harnish and her son, Austin (credit: CBS)

“You don’t think an R-C car battery could start something like this,” Melanie said.

The family said they removed all other lithium batteries from their home, and was reconsidering how they would allow their children to use them in the future.

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Austin said he planned to charge his batteries in less-flammable places, like on the cement outside.

CBS4 called Venom’s ownership for comment, but was met with an automated response stating the company was closed for the weekend.

(credit: CBS)

Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.