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Was a defective humidifier to blame in a house fire?

A dehumidifier was reportedly responsible for causing a house fire in the town of Marcellus on Thursday evening. According to a Syracuse.com report, firefighters from several departments responded just before midnight to put out the fire. Because of such a quick response, the small fire that was found in the basement was quickly put out before it could spread to the rest of the house.

Fortunately, the fire was isolated and eliminated quickly so that no other rooms in the structure were affected. Authorities believe that the dehumidifier was the sole cause of the fire. It is unknown as of this writing whether authorities believe that the device was defective or whether it was operating unattended. 

If it was the former, the maker of the dehumidifier could be held liable for the damage to the home. Essentially, manufacturers have a duty to use reasonable care when building a product and making it available for sale. The product should perform according to its expected use without putting its owner in danger. Moreover, if a product is deemed to be defective, the manufacturer should take affirmative steps to warn consumers by issuing a recall.

Manufacturers who do not take affirmative steps to remedy a defect, and a customer is injured by a defective, the manufacturer could be held liable. So while it is fortunate that no one was hurt by fire, the story exemplifies what manufacturers should do to ensure that consumers are safe from harm.

The preceding is not legal advice. For questions about your rights and options, contact an experienced personal injury attorney.

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