WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) --Joe Lyons lives in the lovely landmarked Queen Anne High School condos, but he is afraid for his safety.
The condo board says he's one of 10 residents who have reported Kitchen Aid microwaves that started on their own.And, in one case, caused electrical arcing.
"I feel unsafe, especially when I heard the stories around the building of the sparking being so intense. It sounded similar to fireworks," Joe Lyons says.
Pictures show the aftermath of a fire in a Florida home that started in a microwave not in use, according to the official fire report.
Both incidents, reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, involved a KitchenAid microwave model KHMS155LSS.
Consumer Reportslooked at thousands of CPSC documents in its investigation of appliance fires, including many obtained through Freedom of Information Requests (FOIA).
"Forty-one of the CPSC reports involved KitchenAid microwaves that turned on by themselves, some causing fires," says Dan DiClerico.
Eighty-two similar reports involving some GE microwaves were also examined, six of which involved serious fires.
DiClerico says, "The reports listed various models, but 30 complaints involved the GE Spacemaker line of over-the-range microwave."
None of those microwaves have been recalled. And, the problem is not limited to these two manufacturers.
The CPSC told Consumer Reports it has an open investigation into the safety of kitchen appliances.
If you have a problem with your microwave, unplug it and have a technician to check it out.
And, know which circuit breaker turns it off case of an emergency.
GE told Consumer Reports that it has investigated unverified reports of "self-start" and found them to constitute quality not product safety concerns. And that many have been determined not to be self starts at all.
Whirlpool, which owns KitchenAid, initially said it had not been able to verify a single report of a self-starting microwave.
The company now acknowledges malfunctions are possible, and has offered a free repair to anyone with model KHMS155LSS.