13 Investigates: Night light could cause fire


INDIANAPOLIS - By day, Sebastian Bowman is an adventurous four-year-old.  But come bedtime, "I'm scared of boogie mans," Sebastian says.

"He won't go to bed in there without a night light," adds his mom Jillian Bowman.  So when Bowman got a free night light in the mail from Indianapolis Power and Light, she plugged it in.

"IPL had sent out an energy efficient package and it was in the package," said Bowman.  "They put out a real pretty blue glow," she describes.

But not Tuesday night.

"My night light catch on fire," explains Sebastian.

This time, says Sebastian's 6 year old sister Ruby, the night light put out smoke and flames.  "I saw the thing smoking and I went to tell daddy and I told daddy, the night light's smoking in Bubby's room,"  Ruby says.

"He went in there and when he got in there it had started. It burst into flames and he pulled it out of the wall," says Bowman.

"If he had been asleep, I might not have my son today or my house," the mom of two says.

Molenaar LLC, the company that made the night light and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled it this past September because of the risk of possible shock or fire, but Bowman says she never heard a thing about it.

"They had my address, obviously I have power and they know they sent me the package. They should have sent me a letter saying it was dangerous," she complains. 

On its website, the CPSC says the recalled lights are either shaped like a house or a square with a round top.  It lists model numbers 2019 and 2017 as the affected models.  It also says the imprint 71980 USA is on the back.  According to the website, the lights were distributed free by various companies from October 2001 November 2009.

The CPSC has advised people to stop using the night lights and throw them away.   And that's just what Bowman is going to do.  "I just couldn't imagine losing my son because of a night light," says Bowman.

She hopes others who got the night lights have thrown them out already.

Eyewitness News called IPL about the recalled night lights.  We wanted to know if they were aware of the recall and if they'd alerted customers who received the night lights.  They told us they would look into the matter and answer our questions as soon as possible. When they do, Eyewitness News will have an update for you.