Kitchen Stove Fire Leads to Long-Awaited Fix

Christmas 2016 was one Bethany resident Ona-May Slauson won’t soon forget, regardless of how hard she tries.

On Dec. 22, Slauson started cooking for Christmas Eve dinner when her stove’s fate took a turn.

“All of a sudden we heard a pop,” said Slauson. “Three flashes of white light and black smoke started pouring from the back of the stove.”

She called 911 and firefighters immediately removed the Sears Kenmore stove from her house to her front lawn, as a precaution.

“We were just really shaken, because it was just my daughter and myself home at the time,” said Slauson. “You know, it’s two days before Christmas, I have 25 [people] coming over for Christmas Eve and we don’t have a stove.”

So Slauson then reached out to Sears customer service, who called the Milford store, who tried to set up a replacement or repair appointment, and then, Slauson says, nothing.

“We were just going around in circles,” said Slauson. “We were being hung up on. We were calling back.”

She says that continued for several hours.

“At one point Sears did call me a couple of times, but when the man would [ask me to hold] to connect, nothing would happen,” said Slauson.

Since she needed a stove for Christmas, Slauson went to another appliance store and bought the cheapest one she could find, meanwhile trying to set up service appointments.

Two different technicians evaluated her stove during two different dates. At first, they said Sears could not repair it because the stove was outside of her house, even though the firefighters put it there. The second technician found the problem was in the motherboard, and offered to repair it, after all.

“I don’t want to plug it back in to find out if there is something else wrong with it,” said Slauson. “I really would like it done in their building.”

When that wasn’t an option, Slauson reached out to NBC Connecticut Responds. A Sears representative said:

“At Sears, our top priority is the satisfaction of our members. Our member services team has further reviewed Ms. Slauson’s situation and will be offering her either a) up to approximately $3000.00 reimbursement towards a comparable range or b) providing her with a cooktop and separate wall oven combination (of similar value), if she chooses to go that route. She is considering her options and will notify us of her decision. We hope she remains a loyal Sears customer and Shop Your Way member.”

The company also offered Slauson a $350 reimbursement check for the stove she purchased to get her through the holidays.

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