A Ramsgate couple whose new air fryer burst into flames due to a suspected electrical fault are warning people to be vigilant when using the appliance for the first time.
Fionn Dobell and partner Natasha March, both 28, bought the Salter air fryer from Asda Westwood on December 22 but didn’t use it until New Year’s Day.
Fionn says they followed the instructions and did a five minute pre-heat before putting in some sausages to cook.
The railway conductor said: “Seconds later Natasha was shouting for me to help her. She unplugged it but you could smell burning plastic and could see it was melting behind the dials at the top.
“We needed to get it out of the flat because of the stink of burning plastic.
“Natasha was carrying it out and was halfway down the stairs when it started literally bellowing flames.
“We got it outside and dropped it on the pavement and it just went up in flames. I went in to get damp cloths to put it out and it just melted itself to the pavement.”
Fionn and nursery practitioner Natasha returned the melted air fryer to Asda where they received a refund and were told the store would contact manufacturer Salter and remove that batch from the shelves.
Fionn said: “It was surreal. If my partner had not stayed in the kitchen and watched it, God knows what would have happened.
“The fire was in the electrical compartment, the tray in the bottom was fine.”
A spokesperson for UK company Salter said the firm was ‘shocked and concerned’ having never encountered an issue like this before.
The spokesperson added: “Our customer service team are currently in conversation with Mr Dobell regarding this incident. Please be assured reports of this nature are treated as a matter of utmost importance and as a company please feel confident that we will do everything in our power to assist Mr Dobell with this matter.
“We follow strict protocols of product testing including intensive live testing, user trials, production testing and of course final production checks before any product can enter the market. As a company we have now sold well in excess of over one million Air Fryers and have never encountered an issue of such a serious nature. So as you can appreciate we are shocked and extremely concerned.
“We would like to carry out a full investigation on the product and will immediately make contact with the ASDA store to uplift the product for further investigation to be carried out.”