Fire investigators in Normal believe a recalled dehumidifier was to blame for a fire that heavily damaged a basement at a home last week.
The Normal Fire Department issued a statement Friday indicating the cause of the accidental fire at 302 Augustine Way on Sept. 8.
“We cannot reiterate this enough: If you have a dehumidifier in your home, you have to check to make sure it is not on the recall list,” said Assistant Chief Mike Morrison. “If it is, stop using it immediately and contact the manufacturer.
“We know there are likely thousands of these recalled units still being used in people’s homes and we urge everyone to take this threat very seriously.”
The department noted several recalls have been issued for dehumidifiers in recent years due to defects that cause the units to overheat, begin smoking and then catch fire. The largest recalls were manufactured by Gree and Midea under numerous brand names. You can check the Gree or the Midea recall lists.
The recalled humidifiers are responsible for hundreds of house fires and millions of dollars in damages, according to the fire department.
Residents were able to escape the home unhurt in the early morning fire. The home had working smoke alarms.
The fire department said the blaze caused extensive damage to the basement level of the home. The second story of the home also sustained damage from heat and smoke which traveled via the laundry chute.
At this time, there is no damage estimate available. The home is insured.
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