CONSUMER ALERT: Recalled dehumidifier catches fire in FdL home

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Published: June 9, 2016 FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WBAY) – Two years ago, we told you about a massive dehumidifier recall, after several units were linked to fires. Now today, the Fond du Lac Fire Department says one of those recalled dehumidifiers caused another house fire this morning.

Ora Karlstadt was one of several people in a Mustang Lane home this morning when the fire alarms started to go off.

She says, “I went to the panel to check, see what was going on. It said active fire basement. I hit the bottom of the stairs, I saw smoke, I grabbed the fire extinguisher, walked back and put out the fire.”

According to the Fond du Lac Fire Department, which responded to the call, this dehumidifier is to blame.

“We looked at the dehumidifier of course, you could tell it was that. There was nothing else. It was all by itself plugged in,” says Division Chief Troy Haase.

But, to the surprise of Karlstadt and the others in the home, the dehumidifier was on a list of recalled units, published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than two years ago.

Ora Karlstadt says, “We’ve had this running in our basement for two years, never had an issue and all of sudden there you go, four foot flames that could have taken out the house if we had not seen it.”

And that’s why the Fond du Lac Fire department is using the incident as a teaching tool, since this type of dehumidifier is one of nearly a hundred that people are unknowingly using despite their dangers.

Troy Haase says, “These dehumidifiers are still out there. I’m sure there’s hundreds of them operating, possibly in Fond du Lac. So it’s just a matter of looking at it and determining, it takes five minutes to fix it and to make sure that you’re not going to have an issue.”

If your dehumidifier is on the list, unplug it and stop using it immediately. Because as Ora Karlstadt learned, “We have to take this serious. We really have to look at this. I’m definitely going to let all of my friends know. I have this model. If you have this model, you need to do something about it. You need to keep yourself safe.”

Action 2 News has been covering fires sparked by recalled dehumidifiers for years. Since 2013, about 2.5 million dehumidifiers have been recalled in the United States because they can overheat, smoke, and catch fire, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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