Payless Pulls Lighted Shoes off Shelf After Texas Family Says They Caught on Fire in Car
Payless is calling the incident a "car fire."
— -- Payless ShoeSource Inc. has pulled a type of lighted sneakers from its store shelves after a Texas family claimed over the weekend that a toddler's shoes caught on fire.
Jovan Virag told Houston's KHOU that he believes his 2-year-old's favorite "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" light-up shoes caused the backseat of their car to catch fire Friday after they were left there overnight. The parents said they didn't discover the charred backseat until the next morning.
"As soon as we opened up the car door, we could smell the burning plastic," Virag told KHOU.
Virag said he was "just glad" his son wasn't wearing the shoes at the time because the 2-year-old may not have been able to communicate that his "foot was hot" and may have not have been able to remove them himself.
Payless released a statement saying it was removing the item from its shelves.
"First and foremost, safety is always a top priority at Payless and we take the claim made by the customer seriously. Out of an abundance of caution we have removed the Boys’ Jake Lighted Runner from our shelves and www.payless.com until we can thoroughly investigate a customer claim regarding that shoe," Payless said in a statement to ABC News today. "We are continuing to work with the family and local authorities in Houston to better understand the circumstances of the car fire and what may have caused it."
The Jake Lighted Runner was sold primarily in North America, the company said, noting it was also offered on Payless.com and by Payless in Australia.
An exact cause of the fire has not been determined. The Harris County Fire Marshal's office is investigating the case.
ABC News was unable to reach the Virag family for further comment.
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