BELLINGHAM, Wash. — The cause of a pickup truck fire along I-5 that created a lot of commotion is surprising.
A Bellingham couple say they had just spent more than $300 last Friday night to buy a popular toy for their grandson — and that toy caught fire, destroying their pickup truck.
Roxsane Harden escaped just in time before the back of her pickup truck erupted into flames.
“The back windows of the truck explode,” husband Delmond Harden said.
The Washington State Patrol confirmed the source of the fire along I-5 was not the couple’s real truck but instead a toy truck they were hauling in the back
“I tilt the box just so lightly and I can see flames coming from inside the box, the toy is starting to melt," he said, adding that they had just bought the two-passenger Tonka 12V ride-on-dump-truck from the Toys “R”Us in Everett
“It’s brand new, never been out of the box,” Delmond said.
On their way home, they noticed smoke coming from the box.
“We are dousing this toy with water, we think we got it out, we called Toys “R” Us back and said we are bringing this product back,” Delmond said.
The toy erupted into flames again before they could make it back.
“I would be more apt to think we would be in an earthquake than this,” Roxsane said.
The Tonka truck was supposed to be stored in their home, a Christmas gift for their 3-year-old grandson.
“It would have been unthinkable, I can’t even think about it,” Delmond said.
Toys “R” Us says the Hardens' case is an isolated incident but, as an extra precaution, they have pulled the toy off their shelves and online.
“Toys “R” Us has not done enough,” Delmond said.
The couple says the retailer and its manufacturer, Dynacraft, should recall the item nationwide so families who have already purchased them are alerted.
“I saw the toy being sold online,” Delmond said.
They want to know what caused the chaos; until then; they worry other families could be in danger.
The couple say the retailer has promised to refund the cost of the toy but their bigger worry is on how they will replace their destroyed pickup truck. They are unsure if insurance will pick up the tab.
Toys “R” Us says Dynacraft is leading the investigation, directing most of our questions to them.
Q13 News reached out to Dynacraft but did not hear back as of Monday night.
We also reached out to Walmart and Target; both retailers say they do not carry the toy.