"I just thought it was an earthquake, big explosion," said Lenore Satterthwaite after she says her refrigerator exploded. "I was on the computer. I thought it was an earthquake it was so loud and I came in and the doors were on the floor and the holes in the wall."
Satterthwaite has dozens of pictures and videos to show the destruction throughout her home after she says her less-than-a-year-old Frigidaire refrigerator exploded. In the pictures, you can see the outside shell of the appliance is still in its place, with everything inside of it scattered all over her kitchen. The force was so great, it damaged her stove, walls, and furniture.
She called 911 right away and firefighters responded.
The Person County Fire Marshall said there was no evidence of an electrical fire or anything else in the house causing the event, saying whatever happened came from the refrigerator, but the exact cause could not be determined.
Satterthwaite says she bought the Frigidaire refrigerator in the fall. Just days before it exploded, she says Frigidaire sent a technician to her home after she requested a warranty repair since the refrigerator was making a loud noise.
"He said this is your problem, he had the freezer all apart. He said the fan isn't working properly to keep the temperature regulated so he had to order a fan."
However, just days later, before the repair could happen is when Satterthwaite says her refrigerator exploded. She called Frigidaire, homeowner's insurance, and Troubleshooter Diane Wilson. Satterthwaite's homeowner's insurance ended up covering all of the damage.
ABC11 Troubleshooter reached out to Frigidaire, a representative said in part, "Consumer safety is our top priority. We have reached out to Ms. Satterthwaite to understand more," the company's statement goes on to say, "We are actively reviewing her product and service information records."
As for Satterthwaite, she's thankful no one was in the kitchen when it happened.
"I hate for someone to go through what I'm going through, I could have gotten seriously hurt."
There are a handful of other reports of this happening around the country, but with different manufacturers. It is important that as soon as you notice an issue with your appliance, you report it for repair right away, and also report any incidents like this to not only the manufacturer but the consumer product safety commission so it can be investigated.
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