House Fire Caused by a Recalled Electronic Air Cleaner

John Howie, Jr. is currently investigating a house fire that occurred in Tyler, Texas involving an Aprilaire 5000 Electronic Air Cleaner. On January 24, 2005, the Consumer Products Safety Commission together with the manufacturer of the Aprilaire 5000 announced a voluntary recall of these electronic air cleaners because they could potentially cause a fire. The air cleaner’s plastic inner housing and filter are not flame-resistant. If electrical arcing occurs in the cleaner, a fire can develop causing a significant risk for personal and property damage.

According to the CPSC, this product was sold by independent HVAC dealers nationwide from June 2000 through December 2004. The CPSC further advises that individuals who own an Aprilaire 5000 should immediately turn off the unit or unplug it. The manufacturer will provide a free repair kit containing a flame retardant inner housing and filter upon request. The recall notice can be found at: www.aprilaire.com/aprilairerecall.asp.