Recall: Gas furnaces for mobile homes pose fire risk

Monday, November 22nd 2004, 9:55 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A Pennsylvania company recalled about 226,000 gas furnaces for mobile homes last week after reports that they could have been linked to a series of fires.

The Unitary Products Group (UPG) of York International Corp., of York, Pa., said the furnaces can overheat, causing the heat exchanger to crack or burn through, and in extreme cases, can cause the furnace wrapper to burn. The overheating can in turn burn drywall and other combustibles near the furnace, posing a fire and smoke hazard.

The problem has been traced to differences in installation, application factors and variations in components, the company said.

The company received 27 reports of fires that could have been related to the furnaces, some of which resulted in extensive property damage. No injuries have been reported, but the company warned that the problem, if left unresolved, could lead to personal injury or death.

The furnaces were manufactured in Wichita, Kan., and sold nationwide between 1995 and 2000 under the brand names Coleman, Coleman Evcon and Red T as original and replacement furnaces in manufactured homes. The furnaces, used only in manufactured housing, are a silver color with white access panels.

Model numbers included in the recall are listed on the company's Web site at Consumers can also call UPG toll-free at 1-888-665-4640 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CDT, Monday through Friday, and for a referral to a service center where they can schedule a free inspection and repair.

Consumers are advised not to use the heating function of these furnaces until they have been inspected and repaired.

``We want to find as many of these furnaces as possible as a precautionary measure,'' company spokeswoman Helen Marsteller said. ``We went to the CPSC voluntarily in hopes that they can help locate consumers who may have these furnaces in their mobile homes.'"