A Colorado man lost his RV home to a fire earlier last week. According to investigations by firefighters, it was caused by a Nintendo Wii.
Trevor Pellegrin was at a meeting when he got a phone call from his neighbours saying the RV was on fire.
"When I opened the door, I got thrown back by thick black smoke and flames." Pellegrin told KOAA 5.
According to Pellegrin, the Wii was off, but was still plugged into the wall. It’s said that the fire started from inside when the console overheated, and ignited a nearby cushion.
Usually with home electronics, fires are caused by overloaded outlets or wiring problems. Dusting and compressed air cans can also play a part.
Wiis only use 1.3 watts when on sleep mode, and just under 10 when the Connect 24 feature is running. This allows the Wii to remain connected to the internet, receive messages, and update itself. Other gaming consoles use more than that
Most of Pellegrin’s possessions were lost in the fire, including a melted HDTV, burned clothes, the charred Wii, and the smoke damaged roof. The Xbox 360 survived the fire though.
“I was still trying to get my things out of there,” Pellegrin told KKTV, "I was able to save my wallet, court paperwork and some of my more important things but other than that, you know, everything was pretty much gone at that point."
Pellegrin was watching Netflix on the Wii and turned it off before leaving. He wasn’t aware that sleep mode still meant the console was active.
“There’s no warning label on that Wii saying unplug after use that it may cause a fire, there’s no warning label so I didn’t know to do that, to unplug it.”
Pellegrin has filed a claim with State Farm Insurance, who will investigate the case using an X-ray to determine if the Wii is really the source of the fire.
According to Polygon, fire investigators say they’re 99% sure the Wii started the fire. A fire department spokesperson told KKTV other sources of ignition had been ruled out.
Trevor's Father, Howard Pellegrin, has also commented, saying, “Over the years we’ve had so many game controls for all the kids that we’ve had and I never would have thought something like this could have been possible.”
Both Trevor and KKTV, the local news station, have contacted Nintendo for comments, but have not received any replies.
This is the first time a Wii has been the cause of a fire. Nintendo is known to make safe consoles. After all, there’s the charred Game Boy that survived the Gulf War and still works to this day.