Fire hazard: Sheboygan fire department warns about dehumidifiers

Posted at 4:46 PM, Dec 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-23 19:18:02-05

Bruce Hengst and his family are temporarily staying in a hotel. Firefighters say an overheating dehumidifier sparked a fire in his basement.

"It's all ruined," said Hengst.

He tells TODAY'S TMJ 4 his entire home has smoke damage, with soot left everywhere, even on his hands.

"It's going to be a major repair job," he said.

And now the Sheboygan Fire Department wants to warn you and your family. Battalion Chief Dean Klein says over the last year they have dealt with numerous basement fires involving dehumidifiers.

"I was actually surprised at how far-reaching and how many dehumidifiers are affected nationally," said Klein.

Klein says about 3.4 million dehumidifiers have been recalled and he wants families to see if theirs is on the list.

"If you don't have the opportunity to check right now, I would encourage you to unplug it until you have an opportunity to do the check to make sure you're not affected," said Klein.

Bruce isn't sure if his is on the recall list. He's just happy to be alive.

"The wife is good, I'm good and the dog is good so that's what counts, it's just material things and that we can replace," said Hengst.

To determine if your dehumidifier has been recalled, enter the model number here.

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