Homeowner alleges fireplace insert exploded

By Molly English-Bowers | Mar 29, 2016

BELLEVILLE – A homeowner is suing over damages she and her home allegedly suffered as a result of a defective fireplace insert. She is citing negligence and product liability.


BELLEVILLE – A homeowner claims she was burned when a fireplace insert allegedly exploded.

Elizabeth Toberman filed the suit March 7 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against BHI International.

On Feb. 24, 2015, the plaintiff purchased a 24-inch stainless steel ethanol Fireplace Firebox 01 Insert Burner Bio Fuel Real Fire product, the suit alleges. Then on March 3, 2015, the plaintiff says, she attempted to use the insert, which allegedly exploded and spread flames onto the plaintiff and her property.

As a result, Toberman alleges she suffered severe burns to her arms, wrists and hands. She also incurred substantial property damage, such as burnt clothing, cell phone and carpet; smoke-damaged walls, bookcases and other portions of the interior of her residence, according to the complaint.

Toberman alleges the defendant negligently designed and manufactured a defective and unreasonably dangerous fireplace insert and failed to give proper warnings and instructions to its customers as to the correct procedure to follow when filling with ethanol and then lighting the insert.

The plaintiff seeks an amount exceeding $50,000, court costs and other relief the court deems just. She is represented by Derek J. Siegel of Neville, Richards & Wuller LLC in Swansea.

St. Clair County Court case number 16-L-130

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Neville, Richards & Wuller St. Clair County Circuit Court

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