Toronto police are issuing a warning to anyone who may have purchased gas model clay ovens from two GTA stores after it was discovered that they have counterfeit safety certificates and could explode.
Police said the owner of two Kitchen Queen appliance stores sold a large number of residential small industrial and large industrial gas model clay ovens with counterfeit safety certificates.
Police allege that the owner purchased the stoves from Indian, assembled them here and then sold them to the unsuspecting customers. During the assembly the gas fittings were attached to the ovens. Officials said some of the natural gas fittings he attached to these ovens were actually water pipe fittings.
“You’ve got a constant flow of natural gas into these appliances without any safety features, so if a fire starts it could be an uncontrolled fire or possible explosion,” Det. Rob Whalen explained.
Police said on Nov. 19 a tandoori clay oven was purchased from Kitchen Queen. An examination of the oven found that it didn’t meet the Canadian standards safety and that there was a counterfeit Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Group certification on the oven.
Search warrants were issued for three stores across the GTA, where officers found three full-sized ovens as well as 15 to 20 smaller burner units – all minus proper authorization to be in within Canada and sold as actual working appliances.
“As a result of the warrant the gentleman in question was arrested. He was changed, at this point, with possession of property obtained by crime and passing off wears,” said Whalen.
Police believe over 300 clay ovens were sold to unsuspecting restaurants, catering businesses and residential homes in Ontario and across the country.
“Our main thing is getting these ovens out of businesses,” Whalen said. “Our restaurants are our victims so we’d like to speak with them in that capacity, as a victim.”
Investigators are going through documents collected with the warrants to find those who have been victim to the scam.
“As of yesterday we’ve recovered approximately 100 of them so we believe there’s about 200 across Canada,” he explained.
Whalen is hoping word gets out to restaurant owners across the city and that more people who may have purchased the ovens come forward so the units can be replaced as quickly as possible.
He added that the the restaurant will only inconvenienced for a few hours while officials replace the oven with a properly-certified unit.