The Attorney General of Illinois, The Honorable Lisa Madigan, issued an urgent request today about a dangerous product. She is calling on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban the sale of gel fuel products used in portable fire pots. The ceramic fire pots that use the gel fuel have been around for nearly two decades; however, more recently, they have been popularly used to create ambience and repel mosquitoes and other bugs. You have probably seen them or maybe your friends have them. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan told reporters yesterday during a press conference at the State of Illinois building (Thompson Center) in downtown Chicago that the problem with the fuel gels is that they are usually sold in conjunction with a fire pot. These fire pots have a metal container that you pour the fuel gel into and then you ignite that fuel gel and put it outside. But, for many people, they do not think the fuel gel is lit when it actually is and they end up pouring more of the fuel gel into the fire pot. When they have done this, Madigan says, “it has horrible consequences.”
Attorney General Madigan addressed that an alarming number of people in the state of Illinois and across the country have been gel fuel victims. One of them was Chicago resident Jeff Sipple who received serious personal injuries while he was an innocent bystander at a social gathering. The Chicago personal injury lawyers were shocked to read that he was probably seven to ten feet away from the fire pot. Mr. Sipple stated that he thinks it is important for people to know that it was not somebody playing around. He was distanced from the fire pot and it burst into a ball and actually lit the left side of Mr. Sipple’s body on fire, causing serious Chicago burn injuries. Mr. Sipple explained that when he was trying to put out the fire, he also tried to stop, drop, and roll. The most haunting part of the Chicago personal injury victim’s story is describing how hard it was to put the fire pot out. He explained that “it’s lighting the stuff that we’re touching on fire. It’s a pretty harrowing experience.” There are several manufacturers of the fuel gel on the market and Illinois Attorney General Madigan is calling on the safety commission to ban all of them immediately.