The house at Villas Court in Kileleshwa, Nairobi, which got burnt after a power bank reportedly exploded ON oCTOBER 12, 2016. PHOTO | EVANS HABILThe house at Villas Court in Kileleshwa, Nairobi, which got burnt after a power bank reportedly exploded ON oCTOBER 12, 2016. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL
By WAGA ODONGO

The top floor of a house in Kileleshwa, Nairobi, was reduced to ashes on Wednesday when a mobile phone power bank that was being charged reportedly exploded.

Firefighters took more than an hour to contain the blaze that began at 3am.

“The house owner’s son had left his power bank charging and it set fire to curtains. We tried to fight the fire but it got out of control,” said a neighbour.

PHOTO | EVANS HABIL

PHOTO | EVANS HABIL

Mr Nurdiw Hajji, the owner of the house, refused to comment on the matter.

The houses surrounding Mr Nurdiw’s were evacuated but none was damaged by the flames.

“Some residents left their houses and went to spend the night elsewhere,” said Mr Simon Mwangi, a guard at a nearby house.

The incident raises safety concerns as more consumers walk around with power banks.

PHOTO | EVANS HABIL

PHOTO | EVANS HABIL

Technology giant Samsung recalled and then discontinued production of the Galaxy Note 7 phones following concerns of batteries overheating and exploding.

Power banks use the same lithium-ion cells found in smartphones and have also been known to explode.

As tastes demand that phone screens get larger, consumers’ preference for faster charging phones and longer lasting batteries could leave them exposed to greater risk.