Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone 5c Catches Fire In Teen’s Pants Pocket [UPDATE]

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Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone 5c Catches Fire In Teen’s Pants Pocket [UPDATE]
JESHOOTS / Pixabay

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) phones have always been a little tough on the pocket book, but not like this. A 13-year-old girl underwent first and second degree burns after her Apple’s iPhone 5C caught on fire inside her pocket, according to a report from the Press Herald.

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The battery of the phone popped up when the girl sat down in the classroom, and later smoke started coming out of it. Her friends told the girl to take off her pants, and asked the boys to leave the classroom. Also, a teacher covered her with a blanket. The girl was admitted to the hospital and released later.

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Battery of Apple iPhone exploded

According to one of the fire officials in Kennebunk the battery of the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone exploded when the girl sat down.

“People should obviously use caution when placing their phones in their back pockets so as not to crush them and cause an electrical short,” one official said.

The principal of the Kennebunk Middle School said that he has never experienced an incident like this before and praised the girl for her “stop, drop, and roll” move.

According to Judy Milligan, mother of the girl, her daughter was given treatment for burns, and she wanted to go back to the school, but the school authorities at Maine told her to take rest for the day. Milligan did not wish her daughter’s name printed in the newspaper.

All batteries prone to fire

According to Andrew Rosenstein, owner of TechPort in Portland, who also repairs Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) products, customers buy bad batteries even after knowing the risks. However, the iPhone that caught fire was almost new.

“There’s basically a lithium-ion type rechargeable battery built in (to an iPhone). The battery, as it charges and discharges, it’s really a chemical reaction that can generate heat,” Rosenstein said.

He said that though the incidents like this are very rare, but any battery can burst into into flames in extreme circumstances. Rosenstein said that he uses a fireproof box to keep the batteries away from devices that are under repair to avoid any fire in case of malfunction.

News of phones catching fire while charging have been surfacing for quite some time. Lithium ion batteries are prone to catching fire, and Boeing 787 Dreamliners are a recent example of another problem with lithium ion type batteries.

UPDATE: The phone made a “popping” noise when she sat down, reports USA Today. Fire officials told the paper that they think sitting on the phone caused it to “short out.”

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33 COMMENTS

  1. I gather you’ve never had to go to small claims court to settle a dispute. What a marvelously innocent perspective.

    Yes, for some things you actually have to get out of your armchair and fight. Would you like me to dig up some examples? Shouldn’t be too hard.

  2. Thank for sharing your epiphany.

    Apparently, not everyone is as well informed as you are, leading them to say things like:

    “Bottom line: how come this only happens to Apple’s phones? Not Blackberry, not Android, not Windows phones.”

    Knowing how much “unbiased information” information is out there, you would never had made such a claim, now would you?

    By the way, seeing how well informed you are, I wonder why you never mentioned the following in any discussion about another hot topic of discussion regarding APple:

    “New Google Maps Update SUCKS”

    – from mid-2013″ right on Google’s own product forums – some mighty upset users over there. Sounds like Google has its own map-gate, but without the marching bands parading all over the web.

    – see more at: https://productforums[dot]google[dot]com/forum/#!topic/maps/XCSe9ruxo14%5B1-25-false%5D

    Are we having fun yet?

  3. A Seattle blogger who goes by the handle Rex won a small-claims lawsuit he filed against Apple after it reneged on a promise to fix his defective computer. This kind of man-bites-dog moment is rare, but in the wake of legislation that allows companies to prohibit customers from filing class-action suits against them, watchdog groups say small-claims court is the only weapon consumers have left.

    Rex details the entire time-consuming, frustrating ordeal on his blog. The short version is that he bought a laptop in 2008 that turned out to be one of a batch that contained a defective chip. Apple acknowledged the defect and said it would replace it when it burned out. When the chip fried three years later, the company reversed course, first stonewalling Rex and then claiming his computer was a slightly different version than the model for which it had agreed to replace the chip.

    Multiple visits to the Apple Store, phone calls and letters didn’t get Rex’s laptop fixed. In March, close to four years after he bought the laptop, he filed a lawsuit in small-claims court. Fortunately for him, he’d documented his multiple failed attempts to resolve the problem, because when he went to court last week, the judge ruled in his favor. (Apple declined to comment for this story.)

    This tactic worked for Rex, but if you’re thinking about trying this at home, consider this: “This was a savvy and sophisticated consumer with the time and energy and patience to try and right a wrong,” says attorney Bruce Rogow. “It is a rare consumer who could travel that road.”

    Most Americans wouldn’t go to this much trouble, says Harvey Rosenfield, founder of Consumer Watchdog. “And the companies know that.”

    Read more: Guy Sues Apple and Wins, but His Victory Is a Bummer | TIME com http://business.time com/2012/04/23/guy-sues-apple-and-wins-but-heres-why-his-victory-is-a-bummer

  4. “Wow, there are TONS of incidents on the net.”

    There’s more unbiased information out there than what PE-D shows you at Fortune com

  5. Had to dig deep for that one huh!

    Did you even read the letter Apple supposedly wrote?

    Doesn’t it sound even a little bit off to you, assuming your native language is English?

    Do you REALLY think someone on Apple’s legal team wrote that? It sounds like it was written by the same morons who fill my in basket with phishing e-mails.

    Has anyone proven the authenticity of that communication or is just too convenient to not bother asking any questions?

  6. “Secret squirrel Apple has started to project its obsession with shutting up upon its customers too.”

    “It seems that if anyone quotes an Apple staff member in a blog they will receive a visit from Jobs’ Mob’s legal department which will tell them to shut up.”

    “David Boles’ Apple monitor died on him and he had a bit of trouble transferring AppleCare coverage to his new monitor.”

    “Writing on his blog he did not wade into Apple at all. He just warned his readers not to forget their AppleCare accounts when they get something new. Apple went completely ballistic because he had mentioned them without permission and talked, publically, about what a staff member had said.”

    http://news.techeye net/business/apple-tells-its-customers-to-shut-up-or-else

  7. The battery has protection circuits, not the cells.

    If the cells sustain damage, theres nothing to stop them from igniting.

  8. No, sitting on the phone did not cause the battery to “short out”. While shorting a lithium-ion battery is bad, they all have circuits to protect against that, and it would very quickly just shut off.

    The problem with lithium ion batteries is that they require INCREDIBLY precise charging methods. If you overcharge a l-ion by just 0.025 volts, you can make it explode. And by bending, denting, scratching, or puncturing the battery, you are changing its internal chemistry, making it receive more energy from the charger, overcharge, and eventually explode. You can set your house on fire by accidentally denting a l-ion battery.

    These things are incredibly dangerous.

  9. “Exploding Samsung Galaxy phone leaves teenager with third degree burns and smelling like a ‘burnt pig'”

    Warning – some pretty gruesome pictures in the story …

    – see more at: http://www.dailymail[dot]co[dot]uk/health/article-2359281/Exploding-Samsung-Galaxy-phone-leaves-teenager-degree-burns-smelling-like-burnt-pig.html

    Here’s on involving Motorola – “Cell phone battery catches fire, burns hacker’s tail at Defcon”

    – see more at: http://news[dot]cnet[dot]com/8301-1009_3-57481932-83/cell-phone-battery-catches-fire-burns-hackers-tail-at-defcon/

    Wow, there are TONS of incidents on the net.

    There’s even a case of a fellow in China who died after a cell phone exploded in his pocket, severing his jugular – which then turned out to be an accidental self-inflicted gunshot would … or something.

  10. Don’t get mad at me.

    You’re the one who asked me to provide you with information about incidents involving other phones.

    Would you like more?

  11. When Michael Kelly’s iPhone caught fire last week, he was pretty upset. But Apple’s response to the incident has made him livid.

    Kelly was walking through the living room of his Orinda home on Tuesday, Aug. 20, when he heard a loud pop, followed by a crackling sound. He looked over at the small chair nearby on which his iPhone 4 was charging and saw that the device was engulfed in flames about a foot high. Kelly, a CEO of a small market research firm, grabbed the first thing he could find — a newspaper — and whacked the phone with it. The fire quickly went out, but the room filled with smoke, black ash dropped to the floor — and Kelly’s phone was left a melted mess.

    “It was scary,” said Kelly, 70. “I shook for two hours.”

    But he considers himself lucky. For one thing, the phone wasn’t near anything that could easily burst into flames. And he was nearby and awake when the iPhone caught fire.

    “If it had been 12 hours earlier, I would have been in bed,” he said. “I don’t know what would have happened.”

    When Kelly inquired about his options for replacing the phone, the representative told Kelly he couldn’t help him until Apple’s engineers had a chance to look at the information he submitted.

    Apple didn’t get back to Kelly until the next day, when the company offered to replace the burned phone with another iPhone 4. Given what happened with his last iPhone 4, Kelly rejected the idea of getting another one. And he considered Apple’s offer insufficient, given that the fire could have caused a lot of damage to his home. He was also upset that Apple couldn’t or wouldn’t tell him what was in the smoke that he breathed in and whether it was toxic.

    Apple’s representative said that simply swapping out the burned iPhone 4 for an undamaged iPhone 4 was all he was authorized to do.

    More at
    http://www.siliconbeat com/2013/08/29/local-man-burned-up-by-apples-response-to-iphone-fire/

  12. extortion? No-one likes bad PR, so maybe they were trying to avoid it? or maybe it’s good customer service? Maybe they figured it’ll just be cheaper to give him a phone than waste hours and hours arguing. Who knows.

    Point being that it’s always Apple that you hear about in the news with iphones and ipads overheating and/or catching fire. Do you want to tell me that Apple doesn’t try to settle these too? sure they do, but there are just too many occurrences for them to catch them all.

  13. “Galaxy S4 owner claims Samsung tried to silence him after phone caught fire”

    – See more at:
    http://www.washingtontimes[dot]com/news/2013/dec/10/galaxy-s4-owner-claims-samsung-tried-silence-him-a/

    “More people report their Samsung Galaxy S4 catching fire”

    – See more at: http://www.amongtech[dot]com/more-people-report-their-samsung-galaxy-s4-catching-fire/#sthash.PATpycMW.dpuf

    ” In Germany a Galaxy S4 has exploded while charging on a baby’s changing table.”

    – See more at: http://www.amongtech[dot]com/more-people-report-their-samsung-galaxy-s4-catching-fire/#sthash.PATpycMW.dpuf – (OK it’s in German, but the picture isn’t)

    “Samsung phone battery catches fire, injures man”

    – See more at: http://www.cbsnews[dot]com/news/samsung-phone-battery-catches-fire-injures-man/

  14. Oh, found this too after searching for “blackberry phone fire”
    Google took 0.48 seconds to find 3,180,000 results (wow, 80 times fewer results
    than Samsung, no wonder Blackberry isn’t doing that well)

    “Boy burned as BlackBerry phone ‘bursts into flames'”

    —> http://www.telegraph[dot]co[dot]uk/technology/blackberry/9722046/Boy-burned-as-BlackBerry-phone-bursts-into-flames.html

    I found both those reports with very little effort and I might not even be
    as smart as you are. Imagine how many references you could find if you put your
    mind to it.

  15. Not the first iPhone fire.

    iPhone goes up in smoke on plane
    An iPhone belonging to a passenger on an Australian flight releases smoke and glows red as the plane is landing.
    http://news.cnet com/8301-17852_3-57332348-71/iphone-goes-up-in-smoke-on-plane/

    Another iPhone said to have spontaneously combusted
    After an iPhone 4 goes up in smoke on a plane in Australia, a news report from Brazil suggest that another iPhone, left to charge overnight, caught fire just inches from its owner’s sleeping face.
    http://news.cnet com/8301-17852_3-57334175-71/another-iphone-said-to-have-spontaneously-combusted/

    iPhone 4 allegedly blows up while charging
    A Colorado woman reportedly says she woke up at 6:30 a.m. to a smoking, sizzling iPhone 4 next to her hotel bed. This appears to be the first time an iPhone has blown up in the U.S.
    http://news.cnet com/8301-17852_3-57401802-71/iphone-4-allegedly-blows-up-while-charging/

    Apple takes heat after latest iPhone blow-up
    An iPhone user escaped unscathed when her phone exploded as she slept – the third such case reported in Hong Kong this year.
    http://www.scmp com/article/996660/apple-takes-heat-after-latest-iphone-blow

    A little more time, this one would have blown up too.
    https://discussions.apple com/thread/4636245?start=0&tstart=0

  16. Oh, found this too after searching for “blackberry phone fire” Google took 0.48 seconds to find 3,180,000 results (wow, 80 times fewer results than Samsung, no wonder Blackberry isn’t doing that well)

    “Boy burned as BlackBerry phone ‘bursts into flames'”

    —> http://www.telegraph[dot]co[dot]uk/technology/blackberry/9722046/Boy-burned-as-BlackBerry-phone-bursts-into-flames.html

    I found both those reports with very little effort and I might not even be as smart as you are. Imagine how many references you could find if you put your mind to it.

  17. “Bottom line: how come this only happens to Apple’s phones? Not Blackberry, not Android, not Windows phones.”

    Bottom line: It doesn’t. I can provide you with lots of dirt about all of those other brands. Sure you want to go there?

  18. “Bottom line: how come this only happens to Apple’s phones? Not Blackberry, not Android, not Windows phones.”

    It doesn’t. You’re just misinformed, just like about the China electrocution incident.

    Would you like an education? It’s not going to be pretty and you might not want to go there.

  19. Here we go. Watch for fanboys starting to make excuses for this, just like they did for that iPhone that electrocuted a lady to death in China.

    Bottom line: how come this only happens to Apple’s phones? Not Blackberry, not Android, not Windows phones.

  20. Gee, what’s your next big scoop, Aman?

    Look over there, somebody cut themselves shaving using a Gillette blade!! OMG , look at all that blood. Quick, stop the presses!

Comments are closed.