News & Media

Recalled fridge sparks fire

By: Peter Tripp

Category: Community Safety, Incidents - Other

  10.31 AM 13 March, 2015


Location: District 8 News

Views: 2746

A family of four have had a lucky escape after a faulty fridge that had been recalled due to safety concerns started a fire in their home in the early hours of the morning.

Edithvale Brigade was called to a burning smell inside the Edithvale house in the early hours of Wednesday morning (11 March).

Upon arrival, the family including three young children were outside the house. The smell of burning was very evident with the power safety switches activated leaving the house with no power.

The use of a thermal imaging camera (TIC) from Patterson River failed to find the source of the smell and through a process of elimination it was determined the refrigerator was in fact the source of tripping the power. Upon further inspection of the fridge it was discovered it had been on fire internally with molten plastic and fire damage in the freezer and fridge compartments, as evidenced in the photos below. The fact that this was internal in the fridge meant the TIC was unable to detect the fire.

While on this occasion damage was confined to the fridge, the family was extremely lucky the power safety switch activated and they were alerted to the burning smell by one of their children while they were asleep.

Subsequent investigation found this model of fridge had been recalled for this exact risk. Unfortunately, the owners were not aware of the recall and no action had been taken.  

Edithvale Captain Graham Fountain said: "This reaffirms the need to monitor and act on safety recalls in order to avoid the inevitable risk that was evident on this occasion." He also emphasised the value of power safety switches and smoke alarms in all residential properties, both of which on this occasion prevented significant damage and saved the family of four.

The relevant recall for this particular model of refrigerator was issued by Fisher & Paykel, for all E522B/RF610A refrigerators made between April 2006 and April 2007.

To check for other recalled products see the Product Safety Recalls Australia.

Edithvale Pumper, Car and Patterson River Pumper with a total of 11 firefighters attended this fire.

Last Updated: 13 March 2015