Keller family fights for money - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Keller family fights for money after they say baby monitor sparked fire

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Baby monitors are the type of product parents buy to keep their kids safe, but one Keller family says their baby monitor started a fire.

They also say they have the forensic report to prove it, yet the company wouldn't pay their claim and hasn't pulled the product, so they got FOX 4's Steve Noviello on their side.

Molly Sandlin and her husband have 3-year-old twin boys together.

They've done everything they can to secure their home and keep their kids safe, and that used to included using a baby monitor from Summer Infant.

For a while, it provided peace of mind. Now, it's an unrecognizable piece of burned plastic.

"I went to work," said Sandlin. "My nanny was here. She left the house to go to the store with the kids. She came back to our house filled with smoke."

According to a forensic report commissioned by Sandlin's insurance company, in May 2013, the battery inside the baby monitor had swelled and started a fire.

"It was on our granite countertop in our kitchen, so fortunately what it was sitting on didn't burst into flames as well," said Sandlin.

Two years before Sandlin's incident, Summer Infant had issued a voluntary recall of the battery in the same unit. The problem was overheating, which could lead to ruptures and possible burn hazards.

Summer Infant confirms the unit that started the fire in Sandlin's house was not part of that original recall.

"When a plastic device catches on fire and smolders, it just starts billowing these little fragments of the plastic everywhere," said Sandlin.

Sandlin and her husband packed up the boys and headed to a local hotel for five days while their house underwent a deep cleaning.

The bill for their displacement and cleanup of their house was in the thousands.

While their insurance covered the claim, they're out $3,000 for their deductible, and their premium has ballooned.

"Our insurance premium has gone up about 70 percent," said Sandlin.

In all that time, Summer Infant hadn't paid the Sandlins a cent – until the Sandlins got FOX 4 on their side.

They first told us their story through Facebook, and we started making calls and sending emails on their behalf.

Almost instantly, Summer Infant cut a check for the full amount.  

Summer Infant said their near yearlong delay was "unfortunate and unacceptable."

And as for the burned baby monitor at the center of the situation, a UPS receipt confirmed the burned unit was delivered to Summer Infant in September of last year. Summer Infant was also provided a copy of the forensic testing which concluded the battery was faulty, but said they are working independently to verify that conclusion.

So far, that has taken them six months and counting.

FOX 4 checked in one more time with Summer Infant just before this story aired to see if they have taken any next steps. We were told they're still working on it.

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