NEW YORK — Lane Home Furniture urged people to check if they own a cedar chest it stopped making nearly 30 years ago, after two children recently suffocated to death inside of them.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said a latch on the chest automatically locks when closed. The latch can't be opened from inside the chest. Lane originally recalled about 12 million of the chests in 1996 after other deaths, but they are still being bought at second-hand stores or handed down by families.
The chests were made between 1912 and 1987 and can be identified by the Lane and Virginia Maid brands inside of them. Consumers who own the chest should immediately remove the latch and call Lane at 800-327-6944 for replacement hardware.
The CPSC said Thursday that a total of nine children have died inside the chests, and two others were near death.
The two recent deaths pushed Lane and the CPSC to renew its warning about the chests. The victims were a brother and sister from Franklin, Mass., who were 7 and 8 years old. That chest was bought from a resale store about 13 years ago.