Shaun Zinck Jan. 28, 2015, 10:55am


A Pennsylvania couple filed a suit on Jan. 20 against the manufacturer of a kerosene heater and the store where they purchased it alleging the heater was defective and caused a fire in their home.

Bryant and Tracy Thomas sued Sengoku and ACE Hardware, alleging negligence over the Heat Mate Kerosene Heater.

The couple purchased the product from an ACE Hardware store. There were allegedly several issues with the fill cap in the heater, which is meant to protect the opening at the base of the tank.

The fill cap on the product allegedly was missing two flanges that lock the cap in place, and the cap was also missing a rubber seal used to create an airtight seal to prevent kerosene from escaping.

The plaintiffs were using the heater on Dec. 16, 2013 when their pet knocked it over, causing a fire in their home. They alleged the product's automatic safety shutoff device didn't work properly.

The lawsuit blamed Sengoku for manufacturing the product with a defective fill cap and alleged ACE Hardware was liable for selling the heater.

The couple is seeking more than $50,000, plus court costs  They are represented by Joseph L. McGlynn, of de Luca Levine, LLC in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. 

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the Court of Common Pleas Philadelphia County case number 2:15-cv000235. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it represents only one side of the story.

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