Thursday, September 14, 2006

Microwave Fire--GE

Yesterday morning we had a very close call. Conor was making his oatmeal in the microwave and I was in my office reading e-mail. He called me from the kitchen to say that there was a very big problem. I ran in, and he told me that our microwave was on fire. I assumed that he meant that the food was on fire, but when I opened it up, I saw flames burning on the inside of the microwave itself. The food was fine, aside from strings of melted plastic on top of it.

We closed the door, unplugged the appliance and thought of getting water. Conor filled up a cup from the fridge, while I grabbed a dish towel and wet it under the faucet. I opened the door again and placed the dish towel on top of the flames, where it sizzled and put out the fire.

We carried the microwave outside to the patio, where it still sits. My initial reaction was to call GE to tell them about this problem, so that they could warn other consumers, but when I googled around, I found out that GE knows full well about these fires, although they won't say so to their customers.

Please be careful with your microwave. Even if you don't have a GE model, know that most of these are manufactured outside of the US and have the branding put on afterward. Think twice about letting your kids use the microwave when you're not home.


LindsMom said...

Please contact me ASAP [nancyehat - at - earthlink - dot - net] about your GE microwave oven. My partner and I have been fighting GE over their defective appliances for 2+ years. We have documented 7 fires in Florida alone with property damages in the high 6 figures. [There are many, many more across the US, UK, and 1 in Israel.] You can read the details on our website

In the meantime, I would caution anyone who owns a GE over the range microwave oven to NEVER leave it plugged in if they leave their home unattended [for instance, leaving for the weekend or for a vacation]. One critical element of this defect is the microwave ovens TURN THEMSELVES ON!


Nancy Grogan

Bob said...


Our 9 month old GE microwave caught fire in December. The cause is still being investigated...I also encourage everyone to unplug a microwave when not in use.

There is more information about our fire on the following blog

Anonymous said...

I work on Microwaves and I can tell you 95 percent of fires in microwave ovens are caused by the user error. Not covering foods that can splatter grease and all over the interior of the oven can cause the Signal from the Magnetron short and burn. Build up gets under the Light covers, Antenna covers and magnetron covers. The microwave in the above picture looks like a typical Magnetron cover that got hot from being caked with splatter. Conventional Ovens catch on fire way more than microwave ovens due and for the same reason- splattered grease and food. I have a 20 year old GE spacemaker microwave and use it several times a day and never had any problems with it.

Larry Nevada said...

I just purchased a GE over the range MicroWave on nov 13,2012 and last night it caught on fire during heating of food. I could see the orange glow of the fire. Unplugged it and still could see it. Remove part of the panel and blew it out. It's brand new and had no grease in it. I'm returning it back to home depot where I bought it and reported it to CPSC at 800-638-2772.