2011 17" MBP caught fire this morning.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by gixxersixxer, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. gixxersixxer, Sep 1, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013

    gixxersixxer macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2013


    I've had a fun morning. My 17" MBP decided to catch fire, and I woke up to the smell of plastic burning and smoke. Was about to rush to the kitchen, but when I got out of bed, I noticed my charger, corner of my MBP, and carpet were burning green/orange flames. It looked like there was burning inside the computer as well, because smoke was coming from the inside of the computer, not just the outside.

    The corner of the MBP is burned, and will no longer turn on. Also in the corner, the aluminum is scorched up. The charger is melted, and theres a big burnt hole in my carpet.

    I don't use this machine a lot, and everything has been kept in great condition.

    Health Information:
    Cycle Count: 227
    Condition: Normal

    I did have to return it once to Apple, two days before warranty expired, due to a failed harddrive. I was in a rush to get to school, and then said that I could purchase Applecare when I picked it back up. As I was in the Apple Store picking it up (4/2/2012), I got a call letting me know that my grandma had passed away. It made me kind of forget about the whole Applecare thing, so I left. I came back a few days later, asking if I could still buy Applecare, and was denied. Here's the most annoying part though: since the repair, the machine would randomly turn on and off, making it impossible to use for anything beyond casual usage. I filled out the survey they emailed me notifying them of this problem, and got no response. I went in later, and was told I would need to pay to have it fixed since it was no longer under warranty, despite wanting to buy Applecare while it was still under warranty.

    I'm now thinking that there must have been a short or something that could have caused the fire. I don't know much about electrical stuff, but the charger had no fraying, and was always wrapped and kept nice. The entire computer was always babied.

    Very disappointing on Apple's part.

    1. HD Replacement caused the computer to randomly turn off / on after they did the service.

    2. Wouldn't let me purchase Applecare after a few extra days of being out of warranty.

    3. Said I had to pay to fix the computer even though the problems happened due to their repair.

    4. Now I have a very expensive paperweight, and a large burnt hole in my new carpet. Also, no homeowners insurance.

    Just thought I would rant for a bit. Apple Store in question is the University Village Apple Store in Washington. I still have my iMac, but now it looks like I'll need to buy a new machine for portable usage. I will NOT be purchasing another Apple computer, that's for sure. Thanks for listening, and sorry for ranting. Just a bit upset, and kinda at a loss about what to do.:confused::mad:
  2. NickPhamUK macrumors 6502


    May 6, 2013
    I'm very sorry for your loss. Maybe the Gods be with you.
  3. gixxersixxer thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2013
    They already were in a way... I'm mainly just very fortunate that I was home and noticed the fire. If I was not home, things could have been a lot more disastrous, which is the scary part. I'm trying to be positive, but the what-ifs are haunting me.
  4. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009

    Pity humans can't do the job on their own to begin with.
  5. Doward macrumors 6502a

    Feb 21, 2013
    If you decide to open it, I'd be curious to see if the fire internally started from the wire that runs from the MagSafe connector to the logic board.
  6. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    Sorry for your loss. However if the computer had problems from the hard drive switch you still had 90 days to get it repaired. Any warranty replacement is covered for 90 days or until the end of applecare, whichever comes first.

    If the MBP caught fire, take it to the apple store. I have seen situations like this where they will honor applecare if it's clearly hardware related. They prefer to give you a $2000 computer than you suing them.
  7. ohbrilliance macrumors 6502a


    May 15, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    1. Pics so we know what you're talking about (or so that we know you're not just BSing. If I was starting a topic such as this, I'd make sure I had pics from the go).

    2. I imagine that Apple would be very interested in determining the cause of the fire. If you were fobbed off from your local Apple store then persist with efforts elsewhere.
  8. gixxersixxer thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2013
    I was told the hard drive was covered, but the random shutoffs were not. As for them honoring Applecare... well, as I stated in my OP, I do not have Applecare.

    I am posting from my iPhone at the moment. My iMac is out of commission at the moment as I am waiting for a new SSD to install in it. I have taken photos, but have no way to upload them from my phone to the forum. I will get them up asap so everyone can assess the damage.

    I don't really think Apple will do much for me if how they treated me in the past is any example. To go in and be told its going to be X hundreds of dollars to fix is just adding insult to injury.
  9. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    Are you serious? :eek:

    I'd march that scorched charger/laptop into the nearest Apple store and demand some answers. (With attorney in tow). If indeed that MBP and/or charger burst into flames, just watch the store manager do cartwheels on your behalf and make phone calls kicking your issue "upstairs". I bet they even take you to the VIP room for espresso.
  10. fratey macrumors regular

    May 6, 2010
    Email Tim Cook. I did that and a woman from Apple Executive Relations called me the next day to inquire about what happened.
  11. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    Even better. With pics!
  12. Autrement macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2012
    Absolutely. This was not just some hardware failure, this was a fire that could have burned down your house and caused harm to anyone in it. This is the time to make sure you document the damage well, to throw some weight around, go to a different apple store, keep demanding to speak to higher-ups if you're not given satisfaction. Ask who to contact to file customer grievances, and contact the Better Business Bureau. Time to get tough.
  13. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    Its strange they didnt look into the random shutoffs if they started happening after the hard drive exchange. Perhaps they ran diagnostics and found out it was definitely caused by something else? I dont know.

    In either case I said that Applecare would cover it regardless of your applecare status because generally if its their fault they are going to cater to your needs because this thing could have set your house on fire.

    to give you a better idea, if your carpet is burned (dont throw it out yet btw) and your laptop caught fire, and a lawyer thinks its a worthwhile case, it will cost apple a lot more than $2000 in legal fees even if they win the case. They prefer to throw money at you so they dont have to go to court/get bad publicity.
  14. vpro macrumors 65816


    Jun 8, 2012
    Is it just me or has no one asked, umm, do you have a working smoke detector in the house? Were you sleeping with ear plugs in, or? The fact that it was able to burn a hold in the rug and you slept right through it is very concerning.

    When I'm deep in sleep and anyone smokes on my floor or there is coffee brewing, I can smell and my brain registers "annoyance annoyance", and in seconds I get up.

    This is a good tip, anything that doesn't really need to be plugged in over night, I simple don't plug it in. I turn off and unplug almost everything in my place especially chargers, lamps, stereo system, modem and stove. Anything else?

    I hope you can sleep with more peace of mind soon. Good luck. Also - no such thing as God, there is though simple common sense, it saves all.
  15. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Dec 21, 2011
    Yes. It's just you.

    Must get tiresome resetting all the clocks, your oven and microwave the next morning. (Not to mention restocking the fridge probably gets expensive).
  16. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Nov 20, 2008
    Definitely email Tim Cook and Executive Relations will get in touch with you immediately. I would probably skip the Apple store, ER can get further and you can send a bunch of pics of both the machine and the damage it did to your carpet.

    I am virtually certain Apple will want the computer to send back to engineering to determine the cause, and they absolutely will replace the machine at no charge to you.

    You win!
  17. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    No Apple care? No home owners insurance? Pardon the pun, but you are really playing with fire. Home insurance is something I would look into. Imagine you were out and your house burnt down? You could be liable for your neighbours place as well.

    Also do go to the Apple store in person. Explain what happened and see what they can do. Be calm and polite and maybe the Apple God's will look kindly upon you!
    Good luck.
  18. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    IMO apple needs to fix their charger problem.
    85 watts isn't quite enough to power the 15" device under intense loads.

    They also need a more efficient design or simply make the brick bigger (to dissipate heat better) because the charger gets ridiculously hot.
  19. theaero macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2008

    A huge wakeup call. I did NOT have working smoke dectectors, and didn't even think about it until ready this. Low and behold, batteries in two were dead, and one had none at all, which I remember being my fault. Right when I first moved in, I was still learning to cook.
  20. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
    I would go forward to some sort of news station. They may shame the company into replacing the unit/get a statement from apple. Worst comes to worse sue them ;)
  21. gixxersixxer thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2013
    Thank you for all the support / responses.

    I don't have any intention of making this a huge deal, suing anybody, etc. It obviously IS a huge deal, but as for going to the news, suing Apple, confronting them with attorney in tow, etc, that's not my style. I consider myself lucky that damage was not more extensive and no one was hurt. Call me old fashioned I guess...

    Yes, it is very frustrating that I'm out a few grand, something that after reading everybody's responses, I'm hoping Apple will make right, but if they don't, I'm not going to press it.

    As for not having homeowners/renters insurance, I am 24, and in college full time, working a mediocre job on the side to pay the bills. I even ride a motorcycle because car insurance for males my age is ridiculously expensive, despite a clean driving record (almost 25 though! woot!)

    I have been doing a bit of research to see if this has happened before to anybody else, and I couldn't find anything. The one thing I did find when reading the reviews for the chargers, is a lot of people have had issues with them, including a few that caught fire.

    Perhaps the issue was unrelated to the repair and had something to do with the charger?

    Another thing I should mention, is when typing up my original post, I was still a bit freaked out / adrenaline filled? I was a bit melodramatic when I said there was a big hole in my carpet. I should rephrase... there is what I consider a big hole compared to all the other holes/burns in my carpet (none :p). More realistically, it is a small scorch mark. There isn't really a hole at all, just a 3-ish inch scorch that mades from brown to black. I actually think I may be able to cut the carpet and make it look semi-unnoticable.

    I will be taking the computer to the Apple Store this week, and hope things go better than they did last I was in there.
  22. Freida macrumors 65816

    Oct 22, 2010
    almost 24 hours and still no pics. i find it hard to believe to know that your computer went on fire and you go to forums to talk about it instead to run to the apple store. IF what you say is TRUE then you are really not dealing with it properly. On the other hand, if you are attention seeker then yes, this is the way.
    I mean really, your computer was on FIRE!!!! Do you really have to come here to talk about it? Get your bum ASAP to the apple store and stop whining about something that happened in the past (the hdd issue). Or is computer on FIRE not big enough reason for you that you have to add in other issues? OMG RUN!!!
    If what you say is true then you will get a new computer and apology.
  23. gixxersixxer thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2013
    I don't know what amazing world you live in where you can drop everything you're doing and focus on something more trivial. I'm waiting for a few parts to be delivered for my motorcycle, and usually take the bus anyways. Getting from A to B isn't always so simple.

    As for posting photos, how exactly do you suggest I do this? I'm on a phone. It has been the weekend, and today is labor day, so nothing has shipped. Tomorrow, my new SSD for the iMac will be here, along with my new triple clamp. So hey, tomorrow, I will have a computer to post photos from, and a motorcycle to get to/from the Apple store!

    But if ya really think I should go today, you're welcome to come and drive me to the Apple store. :rolleyes:


    Much appreciated. Thank you very much!

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