House Destroyed by Glade Plug-in Air Freshener–Fiction! But Additional Info!
Summary of eRumor:
The email tells the story of a house that burned to the ground and the cause was found to be a Glad Plug-in air freshener.
The fire investigator is quoted as saying he’s seen more home fires from plug-in type air fresheners than anything else.
The main problem with this eRumor is that it’s a tragic story with no validating information.
No names, no location, no identification of the fire department.
Whether this particular fire ever took place is impossible to prove.
There have been some rumbles about plug-in air fresheners, however.
WABC-TV reporter Tappy Phillips in New York says she found a couple of house fires in which plug-in air fresheners were suspected, but none of them involved Glade products.
He quotes fire investigator Richard Wolfson who was hired by the insurance company of a homeowner who had experienced a fire.
Wolfson said his conclusion is that the plug-in air freshener was the most likely cause.
Phillips also talked with a homeowner named Karen Myers who says she watched her plug-in air freshener go up in flames.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced in April of 2002 that the SC Johnson company had voluntarily recalled about 2.5 million Glad Extra Outlet Scented Oil Air Fresheners.
That particular model, according to the commission, had been misassembled at the factory and were regarded as a potential fire hazard.
There have not been any reports of fires.
Subject: Fire Hazard
Friends: My brother and his wife learned a hard lesson this last week.
Their house burned down. . . nothing left but ashes. They have good
insurance, so the home will be replaced and most of the contents. That
is the good news. However, they were sick when they found out the cause
of the fire. The insurance investigator sifted through the ashes for
several hours. He had the cause of the fire traced to the master
bathroom. He asked my sister-in-law what she had plugged in in the
bathroom. She listed the normal things. . . . curling iron, blow
dryer. He kept saying to her, “No, this would be something that would
disintegrate at high temperatures. ” Then, my sister-in-law remembered
she had a Glade Plug-in in the bathroom. The investigator had one of
those “Aha” moments. He said that was the cause of the fire. He said
he has seen more home fires started with the plugin type room fresheners
than anything else. He said the plastic they aremade from is a THIN
plastic. He said in every case there was nothing left to prove that it
even existed. When the investigator looked in the wallplug, the two
prongs left from the plug-in were still in there. My sister-in-law
had one of the plug-ins that had a small night light built in it. She
said she had noticed that the light would dim. . . . and then
finally go out. She would walk in a few hours later, and the light
would be back on again. The investigator said that the unit was getting
too hot, and would dim and go out rather than just blow the light bulb.
Once it cooled down, it would come back on. That is a warning sign.
The investigator said he personally wouldn’t have any type of plug in
fragrance device anywhere in his house. He has seen too many burned
downhomes. Thought I would warn you all. I had several of them
plugged in my house. I immediately took them all down.