A refrigerator suspected of causing a house fire


A refrigerator was the suspected cause of a house fire. The liability insurers for the importer of the refrigerator summoned a GM Consultant loss adjuster with expertise in investigating the causes of fires to the joint appraisal meeting.

After an analysis of the objective findings, the source of the fire was pinpointed at the entrance to the wooden chalet, where the refrigerator was located. The appliance had been completely destroyed by the fire. There were no electrical wires left and the switches on the compressor were no longer usable.


As the appeal was based on the defective product, and as it was not possible to analyse the appliance and thus release the importer from liability, the GM Consultant loss adjuster continued to investigate the area where the fire had started.

While carrying out the standard investigations for determining the cause and circumstances of a fire, the loss adjuster discovered pieces of glass at the entrance. The glass was unusual for two reasons: there were no traces of soot and the breakage was mechanical, not thermal.

The glass was part of the front door and had been broken before the fire started.
The loss adjuster also found the blind for the front door, which was plastic and had not melted, confirming the hypothesis of a break-in through the front door. Traces of fire accelerant were also confirmed.

The loss adjuster’s investigations for determining the cause and circumstances of a fire showed that a break-in had occurred and released the importer of the refrigerator from any liability.