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Man says DVR malfunction filled his home with smoke

Man says DVR malfunction filled his home with smoke

(KUTV) Do you think about your TV as a fire hazard? A Salt Lake City man sure didn't, that is until some of his television equipment began to spew smoke into his living room.

“As soon as I came through the kitchen, you could see the smoke and you could smell something burning,” Bill English said.

English says smoke had been billowing from his DirecTV Genie box. The box was sitting in a well-ventilated cabinet with no real clutter around it.

“It was just sitting there and it caught on fire,” English said.

It's a good thing he was home to pull the plug, which he says stopped the smoking. What's not a good thing, English says, is the answer he got from DirecTV when he reported the issue.

"They really just kind of blew me off. They said we'll replace the receiver and I'm like, ‘You need to know this thing caught on fire,’" he said. “I think other people should be aware that you potentially have a piece of equipment sitting in your home that could be a fire hazard.”

Get Gephardt couldn't find any other complaints specifically about DirecTV Genies catching on fire however there are anecdotal examples across the internet of other DirecTV DVRs as well as other cable boxes overheating and smoking.

In a statement, DirecTV wrote, "Please note the Genie did not catch fire. It was smoking which could be the result of a possible short.”

DirecTV says they are investigating but that it "appears to be an isolated incident."

As for English, he says he's taking DirecTV at its word that they are investigating and he's counting his lucky stars.

“Had I left a 15 minutes early, or had I been asleep in the middle of the night, totally different outcome,” he said.

English says that in more than 15 years of being a satellite customer, he's never had an incident with a box until now.

He did take DirecTV up on their offer to install a new Genie in his living room.

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