CEDAR HILLS, Utah County — A Utah family who blames a Nintendo Wii console for setting fire to their house that caused severe burns to a father and son in a daring rescue is suing the video game giant.
Spencer and Shannon Kelley say in a lawsuit that the gaming console was “defective and unreasonably dangerous” and contained components that “overheated and ignited.”
The Kelleys were at home in Cedar Hills with their three children and a nephew on July 14, 2016 when one of their sons smelled something unusual and came up from his basement bedroom to the main floor just after midnight. He heard screaming coming from upstairs and ran up the stairs to see flames and smoke in the loft area, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court.
Shannon Kelley and three of the children made their way outside. Spencer Kelley tried to douse the flames with a fire extinguisher but was not able to put them out. Assuming everyone was out of the house, Spencer Kelley ran outside. But when the family came together outside, the Kelleys realized their 12-year-old son, Connor, was not with them.
The father went back into the burning house calling for his son amid thick black smoke and intense flames. He opened his son’s bedroom door and called for him to crawl out but the boy became disoriented and crawled in the wrong direction.
“Glass was popping, and the noise of the fire was intensely loud. Spencer swept the melting carpet with his hands until he was able to grab Connor’s leg and pull him towards the stairs,” according to the lawsuit.
The two tumbled down the stairs and ran out of the house.
Spencer Kelley suffered second- and third-degree burns to his hands, feet, cheek and forehead, the lawsuit says. Connor suffered second- and third-degree burns to his knees and feet.2 comments on this story
“Upon investigation it was determined that the fire originated at floor level in the upstairs loft, and that the ignition source of the fire was the Nintendo Wii gaming console,” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit names Nintendo of America and Kroger Co., the owner of Smiths Marketplace where the Kelleys bought the game, as defendants. It seeks unspecified compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and emotional distress as well as punitive damages.
Nintendo of America did not immediately respond to a request for comment.