AMAZON'S ECHO DOT has been a huge success for the company, with its wide-ranging ability to make our lives easier whilst simultaneously scaring the bejesus out of us.
But for one retired firefighter in Ohio (oh, the irony) it has turned out to be a flaming disaster after he returned home to find his device had spontaneously combusted.
The incident, which occurred last Sunday, saw Joe Jachym return to a smoke-filled kitchen and the Echo Dot a charred mess. Jachym, something of an expert in this area, says that if the problem had been with the power supply, the circuit breakers in his house would have prevented it from becoming a serious issue - but this fire clearly started in the unit itself.
The fire, though serious, was extinguished using a domestic extinguisher, and apart from a charred worktop and some light smoke damage, all is well.
Amazon, for its part, has contacted the family, offered them a new Echo Dot and has taken the remains back for a full investigation. There's no word on if he got a new worktop.
The family says it will use the replacement Echo Dot and demand a refund from the bricks and mortar store where they originally bought it - which might be difficult if Amazon has already taken away the old one for inspection, although attention from a local TV station might change their minds.
We reached out to Amazon for comment, because its worth remembering that if this turns out to be a "thing" rather than a one-off, and it happens nearer something more combustible (curtains, a sofa or a small child for example) then this whole story could have had a much less happy ending.
The news comes a day after the US announced it was banning potentially explosive batteries from the cargo hold of aircraft, though the Echo Dot doesn't have a battery, so it's not going to be that, this time. μ
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