ROAMING SHORES, Ohio – The number of local reports of the Ever Brite solar-powered LED light spontaneously catching fire is growing, while the company behind the product maintains that it is safe.
Volunteer fire fighter Dwayne Neider, of Roaming Shores, said the light appears to have caught fire above his garage door in late March.
The fire charred the area and left the light in unrecognizable pieces on the ground.
“The remains of the Ever Brite light were melted onto the ground. The resulting damage is quite evident. I've got a pretty charred front to my garage,” Neider said, adding the burn marks were so unusual that he wasn’t sure at first what had happened.
He said the damage is estimated at about $1,500, which is just shy of his insurance deductible.
“You would never think that it's going to do that much damage,” Neider said.
This week, the South Euclid Fire Department launched an investigation into the device after a resident reported it exploded on his garage.
Johnny Hunt said he was working nearby when he heard a popping sound and then grabbed a towel to put out the flames before they spread.
“The house could've burned down,” he told FOX 8 News Tuesday.
Other consumers have complained about the same thing happening with the product across the country.
Several have posted online reviews claiming their lights also caught on fire. In the last year, at least five people have reported the problem to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
“Someone's got to look into this, and someone's got to hold them accountable,” Neider said.
Ontel Products Corporation, the company behind Ever Brite and several other products, did not agree to an interview and did not answer questions about what, if anything, it is doing in response to the customer complaints.
Ontel Products Corporation’s In-House Legal Counsel, Caroline Kinsey, provided a statement saying the company “strives to provide consumers with quality solutions and customer service, and it is committed to ensuring the safety of all its products.”
“The Ever Brite light meets or exceeds all applicable safety regulations required by law for this type of product in the U.S.A.,” the statement said.
The company issued similar responses to the incident reports filed by consumers with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Neider and Hunt said their calls to the company went unreturned.
“It's amazing that products like this get sold in this country every day, and you never realize until it happens to you that maybe they're not so safe,” he said. “Take them down. It’s not worth it.”
The South Euclid Fire Department said it is bringing in an electrical engineer Thursday to more closely examine the light and try to pinpoint a cause of the fire.
The Ever Brite light remains on the market.