"It's a nightmare. I wish I could wake up and get out of it," Sherrice Lyles said.
Lyles and her four children moved into the home in Asbury Park last Saturday. She was still unpacking, but wanted to surprise her son when he got home on Wednesday. She plugged in the hoverboard to charge, and then 10 minutes later the smoke alarm went off.
Lyles saw the hoverboard burning, ran to get her daughter out of her room, and then grabbed the fire extinguisher.
She says she managed to contain the flames as best she could until firefighters arrived, but they lost clothing, furniture and family pictures.
"Everything is gone. Everything that I save up for the summer and invested in so me and my kids can live comfortable in our new home is gone. Everything," she said.
Her 9-year-old son received the hoverboard as a gift for doing volunteer work in the community last year, but never rode it because they did not have the space. It would have been his first ride had the board not caught fire.
Fortunately, no one was injured, but Lyles says this is hard.
"I haven't slept since the fire. I'm just trying to stay strong for my kids. I go outside to cut just so they don't see me cry," she said.
Lyles works in the Asbury Park School District and volunteers for a non-profit. She is known for her back to school supply drives, prom dress giveaways and hosting free Christmas events for local children.
Now, she's hoping the community can help her family. This was their first new home. For now, they are staying at a local hotel.
If you would like to help:
Donations can be dropped off at Diane Turton Realtor located at 1 Press Plaza (Monday August 14th from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) and Hotel Tides, 408 7th Avenue (Friday August 11th and Monday August 14th from 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.).
Sizes needed are girls 14-16 pants, medium shirt size, 8.5 kids shoe, 6T-7T clothes, 12.5 shoe, 3T-4T clothes and size 8 kids shoe. For boys: size 10 shirt and pants and size 3.5 boys shoe.