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Warning: Firepots, Tiki Torch Can Flare Dangerously

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CBS St. Louis (con't)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s patio season, and the government is warning about outdoor ceramic pots known as firepots, following two serious burn accidents in New York.

The warning from the agency that regulates thousands of consumer products comes after reports of two incidents in the last few weeks in which firepots exploded in flames as someone was pouring a gel-like fuel into them. Both victims, a teenager and a man in his 20s, suffered serious injuries.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s warning also cautions about tiki torches and the fuels used in them.

“CPSC staff want all consumers to stay safe this summer by never pouring the fuel into an already lit firepot or tiki torch,” said Scott Wolfson, chief spokesman at the safety commission.

The commission said it has received at least eight reports of injuries or damage from firepots or fuel gel since April 2010.

CPSC also urged consumers to take extra precaution when storing the fuels for the pots and torches to ensure they are out of the reach of children.

The accounts of the two firepot accidents in New York were first reported by The New York Times, which said both incidents involved pots and a jellylike fuel from Napa Home & Garden Inc.

The Atlanta-based company said in a statement that it has issued a “precautionary hold” on sales of its firepots and gel fuel in response. It added: “We have sold tens of thousands of Fire Burners and fuel during the last two years and have always considered them safe products.”

Bed Bath & Beyond also said Tuesday that it has instructed its stores nationwide to suspend selling the ceramic pots and fire gel fuel as it investigates the products.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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