GLACE BAY — Sara Ford-Burke says it was lucky her brother was at their parent’s home while the rest of the family out was visiting on Dec. 26.
Her brother smelled melting plastic when he walked in the house, she said. Immediately, he searched for the source and found it on the kitchen table.
It was a Rock Solo Bluetooth karaoke microphone, manufactured by Tzumi and purchased from Walmart on Sydney Port Access Road. Ford-Burke and her husband bought two of them to go along with a karaoke machine from Santa so their three sons could each have a microphone.
“There was smoke going everywhere. So my brother grabbed it, he happened to have glove on,” Ford-Burke said during a phone interview.
“He ripped the back off and I guess it was starting to shoot flames and that, so he ripped the wires out. It was all melting.”
Her brother called Ford-Burke to tell her.
“He said, ‘Do you realize that could have been in one of (the kids’) hands?’” she said.
“I felt worse because my father had just redone their house. If no one had’ve been home that would have gone totally up. It would have been a lot worse.”
Ford-Burke and her family were visiting another brother when the incident happened. When they got home, the brother who found the smoking microphone asked her to turn on the second microphone.
She said within minutes the microphone started smoking and when they took the back off they could see the battery and plastic around it starting to melt.
“I was quite upset afterwards… a friend of mine said hers had melted, too,” she said.
Anika Malik, a spokeswoman for Walmart Canada, said they want to know about problems like this.
“Product safety is a top priority at Walmart Canada and we take all complaints of this nature very seriously,” Malik wrote in an email statement to the Cape Breton Post.
“In instances where a customer has concerns about the safety of a product we ask that they reach out to our customer experience team at email@example.com. Our team can then obtain the necessary details to investigate and take appropriate steps to address the issue with our supplier.”
Ford-Burke said they tried to multiple times to contact Tzumi on Dec. 26 but the website was down. There is no phone number listed on the box the microphones came in.
The family plans to return the microphones to Walmart.
While most online reviews of the Rock Solo mics are favourable, some on Amazon.com and Walmart.ca detail similar issues.