A maker of pourable fuel gel for decorative firepots has recalled about a half-million bottles after learning of dozens of accidents, including two near-fatal ones in New York. Additional reports of severe burn accidents connected to the use of gel-fueled firepots, a relatively new product, have surfaced in states like California, Florida and Indiana. The manufacturer, Napa Home and Garden Inc. of Duluth, Ga., was aware of 37 reported accidents, 23 of them involving injuries to consumers. The company has sold 460,000 containers of the fuel, a form of ethanol, in quart bottles and gallon jugs, since December 2009, under the names Napafire and Firegel.
Napa Home and Garden is offering full refunds of $5 to $78 to consumers who return the fuel to the original merchant — whether they bought it from retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond, ShopKo or Restoration Hardware, or through Amazon.com, catalog companies, decorators or landscape architects. Napa Home’s are not the only fuel gel products linked to serious burn cases: BirdBrain Inc., a rival manufacturer based in Ypsilanti, Mich., is being sued by the parents of a 13-year-old New Jersey girl, an 8-year-old Maryland boy and a 3-year-old Illinois girl, each of whom spent weeks in the hospital recovering from severe burns last year.
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