November 14, 2006
Jefferson City, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon is urging businesses across Missouri to have their fire extinguishers checked if they have ever been serviced by a company called Missouri Fire Extinguisher, based in Cabool in southern Missouri.
The Missouri State Fire Marshal's Office says some extinguishers serviced by the company, owned by Fred Lee McNew, may not be in working order, even though McNew serviced them and said they were. An older or inoperable fire extinguisher may not have enough powder or pressure to put out a fire.
McNew is believed to have serviced devices for businesses in southern Missouri from the Kansas line to the Illinois line. He currently faces theft charges in Laclede County.
“Mr. McNew's alleged actions have put hundreds and perhaps thousands of Missourians at risk of being unprepared to deal with a fire at their business or home,” Nixon said. “I encourage businesses who have dealt with his company to have their extinguishers checked out to make sure they have enough powder and charge.”
Any company concerned about its fire extinguisher should have it tested by a qualified professional. Most fire departments can recommend a reputable fire extinguisher company.
Nixon says businesses can call his Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-392-8222 to see if they are listed on McNew's records showing he serviced their extinguisher.