A Willamina family says they've been given an eviction notice because they spoke out about dangerous heaters they found in their rental home.
Heather and Jessica Rose say they complained about their in-wall electric Cadet heaters being on a recall list ever since they moved into their Willamina home a year-and-a-half ago.
Then, last December, they returned home from shopping to find the house smelling of smoke. Heather Rose told Unit 8, "We saw a small flame come out of this [heater]."
“Six months later, maintenance men showed up to replace two of the heaters but left three more,” Jessica Rose said. “It took nearly six days longer for them to get the children’s bedroom heaters replaced."
When the Roses asked the maintenance men about heaters in other rental homes owned by the same company, they said the workers told them that they have thousands that they're not replacing, and that “until they see something from the fire marshal they're not doing it."
Heather Rose said her family isn't alone. She told Unit 8 that other neighbors still have those heaters, and that “they're afraid to use them or speak up about it out of fear of eviction."
The electric Cadet heaters the Roses are talking about are made in Vancouver by the Cadet Manufacturing Company.
More than a decade ago, Cadet and the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall of several models because of faulty components known to start fires.
Cadet ended up recalling more than a dozen different models of their in-wall electric heaters. The company had sold nearly two million units before announcing the recall.
Cadet President Hutch Johnson told Unit 8, "It's a safety issue. The purpose of the recall was to get heaters that were unsafe to be in homes out of homes."
Even though the recall was more than 10 years ago, the company said those old units are still a headache today.
"One problem is, we have no idea how many [recalled] heaters are still out in the market," Johnson said.
So why aren’t they being replaced? Unit 8 consumer investigator Ed Teachout went to ask the Roses’ landlord with The Steed Group in Beaverton.
But a spokesperson for Sean Keys, the president of the company, told Teachout that Keys had declined our interview request.
The Roses plan to keep talking, though. They said they’re speaking out now, even though the company had replaced their heaters, "to save a family’s life, that's what we're after. We could not live with ourselves if we didn't say anything and someone's house caught on fire."
Just two hours after Unit 8 interviewed the Roses they called and said, "We just received a 72-hour eviction notice in the mail."
As of today, the Roses have not moved and are working with an attorney as to determine their next step.
You can find out if your in-wall heater has been recalled by clicking here.