Mother Loses Everything After Cheap Temu Tablet Caused Devastating House Fire

By maks in News On 20th January 2024

The fire began after the tablet, which Natalie had recently bought from the discount website Temu, set her bed ablaze. 

Natalie, a mother of three, said that the fire completely destroyed her home and all her possessions. 

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Recalling the terrifying moment, she said, "It was horrifying. I’m still traumatised by it. I was downstairs taking down my Christmas tree when it happened."

She added, "Thankfully I had picked Melanie up and taken her downstairs with me. All of a sudden, my smoke alarm started going off, then I started to hear crackling coming from upstairs."

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Natalie's neighbor Jade was in the house at the time.

Natalie shouted at Jade to grab Melanie as she rushed upstairs. 

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On reaching the bedroom, she saw flames coming out of the bed where the Temu tablet had been. Despite trying to smother the fire with a blanket, it spread too quickly.

Natalie suffered superficial burns to her hands and face. She believes she could have been in a much worse situation if not for the quick actions of Jade's mother, Linda. 

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"The bedroom windows suddenly blew out and before I knew it I was stuck at the top of the stairs.

I was on my hands and knees - the smoke was so thick I couldn’t breathe," Natalie recounted. 

"Linda came running up and reached through the smoke. She managed to grab my legs and pull me down to the hallway. She saved my life. I wouldn’t have gotten out if it wasn’t for her."

Natalie is convinced that the fire was caused by the Pritom Tablet she bought from Temu for £58. 

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She is now urging others, especially those with limited funds, to be cautious when buying budget electrical goods. 

"The fire brigade confirmed that it was an electrical device that started the fire and everything else in the room was switched off."

"So was the tablet, but it is believed the battery may have become swollen," she explained. 

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"If anyone has bought them for their kids, please beware. It was pretty cheap. I just don’t want this to happen to any other families."

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Natalie's situation has left her without a home and her cherished possessions, including family photos and Christmas gifts for herself and Melanie. 

Oak Tree Housing Association has provided her with temporary accommodation, and a fundraiser has been set up to support her family.

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In response to the incident, Temu has removed the tablet from its website. 

A Temu spokesperson commented, "We are deeply concerned to learn through the Daily Record about the incident involving Ms Natalie McNeill and a tablet she purchased from our platform. As an immediate response, we have taken the precaution of removing the product from our listings."

The spokesperson continued, "At the same time, we have urgently instructed the merchant involved to conduct a comprehensive investigation of their products. We are actively liaising with Ms McNeill to offer our support and gather essential details to facilitate an extensive investigation from our end."

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"It's important to understand the circumstances of this terrible event fully, as this is the first report of fire-related issues with this product and any Temu products since our UK launch. The initial examination suggests the product complies with regulations. However, we will continue our investigation, and the product will remain suspended in the meantime."

"Temu takes matters of consumer safety with utmost seriousness. We are dedicated to ensuring that all products on our platform meet rigorous safety standards and will do everything in our capacity to address the issue and support those affected."

A representative from Benton Technology Co, the tablet's manufacturer, also commented: "We would like to assure everyone that Benton is committed to conducting a thorough and transparent investigation into this matter."

"To date, this is the first report of such a nature involving our products, and we are taking it very seriously. We understand the concerns and questions that arise from such an incident, and we pledge to keep our customers and the public informed as we learn more."