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Lane seeks dangerous cedar chests for repair

Two more kids suffocate after lid locks automatically

WASHINGTON — Lane Home Furnishings is working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to help locate cedar chests with self-locking lids similar to the one that was involved in the deaths of two Massachusetts children in January.

The Lane and Virginia Maid cedar chests in question were made between 1912 and 1987 and have old style latches that automatically lock from the outside and need to be replaced.

Lane recalled about 12 million of these chests in 1996 and began offering new latches that don't automatically lock when the lid is closed. The recall included reports of six children suffocating inside these units. A seventh suffocation death and two near fatalities occurred from 1996 to 2000, the CPSC said.

The CPSC noted that these items are often handed down through families or are purchased secondhand. The one that resulted in the deaths of the two Massachusetts children, a brother and sister ages seven and eight, was purchased at a local resale store about 13 years ago, the CPSC said.

Consumers that have these units should immediately remove the latches and contact Lane to receive new replacement hardware. The company can be contacted at (800) 327-6944 or online at www.lanefurniture.com to receive the replacement hardware.

The CPSC said that for certain cedar chests made between 1912 and 1940, consumers will receive hardware that doesn't latch. For chests made from 1940 on, consumers will receive hardware that doesn't automatically latch closed and requires a person outside the chest to latch and lock the lid.

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