Payless Pulls Light-Up Kids' Shoes Suspected of Sparking Texas SUV Fire

Alex Johnson
Jake Lighted Runner light-up shoes from Payless
Source: Payless

Payless ShoeSource said Tuesday it's pulling all of its boys' Jake Lighted Runner light-up shoes from the shelves while authorities investigate a report that a Texas toddler's shoes ignited and burned out the backseat of the family SUV.

Attila and Jovan Virag of Katy, Texas, told NBC station KPRC of Houston that their 2-year-old son kicked off his Jake and the Neverland Pirates shoes Friday and left them in the SUV over the weekend. Saturday morning, the backseat was charred, they said.

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No official cause for the fire has been determined, but the family blamed the shoes' penny-size lithium battery.

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"You don't think about ... a blinky shoe," Attila Virag said. "It's cool. You don't think about the risks."

Payless, based in Topeka, Kansas, said in a statement that "out of an abundance of caution," it has removed the Jake line — which are powered by lithium batteries — from all of its stores pending an investigation.

"We have contacted the family, and we will work with them and local authorities to better understand the circumstances of the fire and what may have caused it," the company said.