Ceramic Firepots and Gel-Based Fuel are Exploding in Back Yards

By Peter DePaolis

Consumers who thought they were lighting an ordinary bug repellent experienced something akin to a Molotov cocktail, said one victim. The ceramic firepots sold at Bed Bath and Beyond use a gel-based fuel, which is over 90 percent ethanol. The fuel, called FireGel, is supposedly safe, but a 14-year-old boy in New York suffered life-threatening injuries when the bottle of fuel exploded and burst into flames, according to a story in the New York Times.

Doctors in Manhattan placed a 24-year-old man on a ventilator after an explosion from the gel almost killed him and badly injured his friend earlier this month. A mother in Long Island said her son went “up in flames like a tree,” when the gel exploded near him. Her son remains in the hospital with life-threatening injuries from the dangerous product.

Napa Home and Garden, Inc. is the maker of the firepots and packages the gel fuel. A spokesperson for Bed Bath and Beyond said Napa asked its stores to pull the pots and fuel from the shelves so Napa could add new warning labels. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) opened an investigation into the firepots and gel.

The president of Napa Home and Garden said the company would remove “safe” from the gel’s label. He also acknowledged that the gel’s warning label was small and placed on a throw away part of the pot’s packaging.

Contact an experienced Northern Virginia personal injury lawyer if you suffer injuries from a dangerous or defective consumer product. Peter DePaolis is a skilled Northern Virginia personal injury attorney at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis, and he can protect your rights in a product liability action.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.