CHICAGO (CBS)– A southwest suburban family said their DirecTV satellite box caught fire. Now, the family wants answers.
“I was scared, I was scared,” Christine Cerezo said.
Cerezo said a surge sent flames shooting out of her family’s DirecTV satellite equipment, causing it to catch fire.
“My first thought was to grab the baby and go, get out,” Cerezo said.
Luckily Cerezo’s 8-month-old grandson, Milo, is safe.
“They’re really lucky we’re still all here, because this could’ve turned out a lot worse,” Victor Cerezo said.
Christine’s husband, Victor, is a Cook County Sheriff’s deputy who has been sidelined due to foot surgery that left him with limited mobility.
He said, luckily, his son-in-law was home Friday morning to douse the flames.
“I would’ve been in this house alone; me and the baby, alone,” he said.
The family said fire crews shut off power inside their Burbank home to ensure the flames would not reignite.
The couple called an electrician to find out what caused the fire.
“He came out and he said that there was nothing wrong with the outlet,” Christine said.
A note detailed the electrician’s analysis of what went wrong, and stated the DirecTV box caused the surge.
After paying $100 for the electrician’s inspection, the Cerezos spent another $150 on a new TV. The couple said their 60-inch set is now broken because of the fire.
Christine said she is angry with DirecTV’s response so far.
“Nobody wants to give me an answer,” she said.
Christine told CBS 2 she spent over three hours on the phone trying to explain what happened to DirecTV customer support only to be given another number to call and file a claim.
“They’re going to act like it’s no big deal?” Victor said.
Despite all their frustrations, the Cerezos said they can’t call it quits with DirecTV. The couple is locked into a 2-year deal that does not end until April of 2020.
Salt Lake City resident Bill English also found his DirecTV digital video recorder smoking and on fire. He said, in Oct. of 2017, smoke was billowing out of his DVR.
“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,” English said.
CBS 2 uncovered several other customer complaints over the past decade relating to smoke coming from DirecTV boxes.
“This is not something new to DirecTV, this is something they’ve dealt with before,” Victor said.
CBS 2 contacted DirecTV’s parent company, AT&T, about the issue. A representative sent a statement saying, “We visited the customer’s home yesterday and found no problem with our set top box. We are continuing to work with the homeowner to determine what happened.”
The Cerezos do plan on filing a claim to have DirecTV cover costs for the electrician and new TV.
“Legal ramifications are on the table, because I need to be made whole. This wasn’t my problem, this was your problem, you caused this,” Victor said.