They are one of the hottest things on the market this summer but health officials and some customers have put out an urgent warning about the use of ceramic “fire pots”. On June 3rd, Rod McCutcheon of Omaha and his family were enjoying a gathering on his deck and were using two of the fire pots. He had noticed one had gone out and was going to refill the metal cup inside the ceramic container with gel-fuel when things got out of control.
McCutcheon says one of the metal containers inside the ceramic fire pot appeared to be out so he went to refill it with gel-fuel, the bottle ignited and the gel shot out of the bottle which became a flame-thrower. The hot gel sprayed and the fire ignited everything it fell on including his wife, sister-in-law and 9 year old daughter.
McCutcheon says he grabbed his daughter and rolled her on the ground to put out the flames. His wife and sister-in-law also did the same. Another daughter grabbed a fire extinguisher to put out the flames still burning on the deck.
McCutcheon suffered burns to his hand and ankle. His wife and sister-in-law suffered serious burns on their legs and torso. McCutcheon’s daughter was burned on her right leg and right arm. All four suffered cuts from glass that had broken during the explosion and they were forced to roll around on the glass while trying to put out the flames.
All four were rushed to the Nebraska Medical Center’s burn center.
That same week, another Omaha family experienced a similar incident when a 13 year old went to fill an apparently empty fire pot. The Torring family of Omaha reported the flame ignited the gel-fuel and it sprayed onto a 10 year old girl and caught her air on fire. She had to spend the night in the burn center.
Doctors at the Nebraska Medical Center say the burns had been in a wide splash pattern and there were several areas on the body that were injured. The gel drips and stays on fire while burning the skin.