More than a dozen customers claim to have fallen victim to cheap Kmart candles, claiming that they exploded and sprayed hot wax and glass shards.
Chris Page was left with serious burns when he tried to prevent his $6 vanilla and fig candle burning down his Gold Coast property.
“While trying to avoid burning the house down I tried to blow the candle out but to no avail and had no option but to pick it and run to remove it from danger,” the 44-year old told the Daily Mail.
Suffering second-degree burns to his hands, Mr Page spent the night in Robina Hospital and was forced to take a week’s unpaid leave from his job.
Mr Page reached out to Wesfarmers, the owners of Kmart, explaining what had taken place and the extent of the physical and financial burden the exploding candle had caused.
However, perhaps the biggest burn was yet to be delivered, when Kmart responded and denied any wrongdoing.
“Whilst we are sorry to hear that you were injured and that your property was damaged, we do not consider Kmart can be held liable and we are unable to compensate you,” the statement said.
“We test our candles, list safety instructions and when adhered to, the product is safe to use.”
“We encourage all those who own a candle to review these instructions as a safety precaution.”
Left with hundreds of dollars in medical bills, lost wages and permanent scarring to his hands, Mr Page argued that he only handled it in desperation once it had already exploded.
“I have children and pets and live in a rental property that could well have caught fire if I had not taken action," he said.
“He was in bandages and couldn’t move his hands properly for weeks and watching his skin shed off as they were healing was horrible," his wife Cindy said.
“The product is clearly defective as so many of them have exploded and I don’t want this to happen to another family. I can’t believe they are still on shelves.”
Among the growing list of victims, heavily pregnant Canberra woman, Mel Gordon, suffered a similar fate a week before giving birth.
She claimed her brand new candle exploded after burning for about an hour and sprayed hot wax across her room, damaging her $350 bassinet.
“Why is Kmart selling candles with such fragile glass that they explode? My house could have burned down so I’m concerned worse could happen to someone else,” she told DMA.