A FATHER and his toddler daughter were given a fright after they claim a scented candle exploded and set their living room ceiling on fire.
Paul Luker, 28, from Haydon Wick, bought an Air Wick Colour Change Candle in Purple Blackberry Fig to give his living room a fruity scent and relaxed atmosphere.
But the change the candle exhibited was not what he had in mind as he claims it cracked open as he enjoyed a family movie with two-year-old daughter, Ella-Louise on Saturday evening.
The firm which owns the Air Wick brand said it would look into the incident but that its products were safe to use as directed.
Paul said: “I had a friend over and we were all sitting on the sofa watching Aladdin with the candle on in front of us on a glass coffee table.
“I heard this massive crack and then a bang. The candle exploded and pieces of glass shot sideways on to the carpet and burnt it.
“I was frightened for my daughter. I instantly tried to protect her and then got her out of the room straight away because she was so scared and crying.
“It doesn’t bear thinking about if it had exploded in our direction.”
The Air Wick product comprises a normal wax candle placed in a glass container with a battery-powered, colour-changing LED in the bottom of the container.
Paul said the initial bang was followed by another explosion seconds later, which left his hands covered in hot wax.
“I went over to put some water on it and it exploded again,” he said.
“I instinctively went to cover my face and it’s a good thing I did because I ended up with hot wax on my hands.
“Pieces hit the ceiling which caught on fire and I had to put it out with oven mitts.”
The candle, purchased from Asda in Orbital Shopping Park, had about an inch left to burn and Paul believes the batteries combusted inside the product.
“What would happen if a baby or an animal had been in the room or if I hadn’t been there when it caught fire?” he said.
“It’s dangerous and there needs to be clear instructions on the packet to avoid this.”
Paul now faces the cost of replacing his living room carpet and repainting the ceiling, which was damaged by the fire.
He has contacted Air Wick to complain but has vowed never to purchase their products again.
“It certainly didn’t smell nice, the carpet was burnt and the ceiling is scorched, I won’t be buying any Air Wick products again,” he added.
In December last year, a couple in Grimsby complained that their colour-changing candle went off like a shotgun eaving hot wax on the floor and a dent in their ceiling.
Air Wick, owned by British-Dutch household products company Reckitt-Benckiser is the world’s second largest seller of air freshener.
A Reckitt-Benckiser spokesman said: “We would urge Mr Luker to contact our consumer relations department in order to investigate the incident further.
“This will enable us to fully understand the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“All complaints and alleged complaints are treated with the utmost importance and investigated thoroughly including batch number correlation.
“We are unable to comment further at this stage about this or any other individual alleged reports but would stress that we are confident that our products are safe to use as directed on pack.”