Firefighter's iPhone 4 "Spontaneously Caught Fire" While Charging

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A firefighter in the Pennsylvanian town of East Brandywine experienced a close call with his iPhone 4 earlier this month, according to a post on the East Brandywine Fire Company's website.


    The department notes that the phone has been sent to Apple headquarters in California so the company's engineers can investigate the exact cause of the fire.

    This isn't the first time an iPhone has caught fire, but the incidents appear to be unrelated. Earlier this year, Apple initiated a worldwide replacement program for the first-generation iPod Nano, which, in rare cases, could overheat and pose a safety risk to users.

    Article Link: Firefighter's iPhone 4 "Spontaneously Caught Fire" While Charging
  2. Bigsk8r macrumors 6502


    Nov 28, 2011
    Austin, Texas
  3. echo2011 macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    This is a comforting thing to know when charging my phone overnight.
  4. Quazimojo macrumors regular


    Apr 4, 2010
    Auburn Hills,Mi
    Yeah i dont think i will be leaving my 4s plugged in overnight as i am a pretty heavy sleeper and might sleep through a fire...

    Also before anyone says this is not confirmed as an issue on the 4s.. I will say i dont want to be the who discovers it is...

    Scary stuff indeed.
  5. eNcrypTioN macrumors 6502

    Nov 4, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Exactly, and I charge my iPhone right next to my bed.
  6. Promerojr macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    If you go to save the picture the name of it is toastyiphone.jpg I know it's not THAT funny, just ironic
  7. smalltimewine macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2010
    Does anyone find it odd that the response of a firefighter was to throw it out a window? Sure, we don't much beyond the description of the event, but that made me chuckle.
  8. echo2011 macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    Wonder if that's in the firefighters training manual?? :D
  9. tomitof macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2011

    This thing of iPhones going on fire seems like a conspiracy from apple so that you upgrade to the 4S.... just kidding, i love apple and I'm not against it and never will :) :apple:
  10. MrCrowbar macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2006
    Need a smoke grenade? There's an app for that! :rolleyes:
    "Siri, I need a smoke. Where did I put my lighter?"

    I had that happen on a plastic Macbook altho the battery just swell up. Another time the thin cable of the power brick just started to burn blue and green (forgot in what order, it was the metal fibers burning one after another).

    These things happen, it's like slipping in the tub. All you can really do is install smoke alarms and have a fire extinguisher handy. I do, they're cheap life-savers.
  11. Quazimojo macrumors regular


    Apr 4, 2010
    Auburn Hills,Mi
    Maybe Apple really does have a kill switch built into the phones..

    And it really means KILL the phone :eek:
  12. BlueHedgehog macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2010
    Was that the "neurotoxin"? (Portal reference)
  13. emaja macrumors 68000

    May 3, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Does it make me a blind fanboy or just naive to think that this happens to electronics all the time but this case gets reported because it is Apple?
  14. chuckles:) macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2006
    Depends on if you can back up that statement with some proof.
  15. fredfnord macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2007
    It will be interesting... see what the investigation turns up.

    I've seen this happen with faulty (poorly manufactured) batteries before. I've also seen this happen to perfectly innocent devices when an extremely large power surge hits them. (In theory, though, something like that should probably have significantly damaged the power adaptor too.)

    Indeed, a power surge in a data center near me a few years ago caused a UPS to explode violently, blowing the metal access panel's door over thirty feet down a corridor. (Which didn't end up having any effect on the machines in the data center: the UPS downstream of that UPS took up the slack for long enough for them to get their generator up and running. Good service!)
  16. room237 macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2008
    Queens, NYC
    Well, it IS in the manual that you should never use water on an electrical fire, so to remove the smoldering object from the dwelling may have been the quickest and safest response. :)
  17. *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    No, there have just been some stories of it happening. Because it happens to be an iPhone it gets lots of media attention. It's not a common problem.

    Here's a couple of Samsung incidents, that were barely spoken about:

    ^^^ That one was pretty horrible.
  18. Cjr605 macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008
    I don't know if it is right to assume that this is being reported just "because it is Apple." I would assume that a website dedicated to delivering Apple news might end up posting something about an Apple device doing this.

    And, like the person above me posted, there are other incidents of phone malfunctions which have received press.
  19. lamboman macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    I am not entirely convinced this is actually true. There have been a suspicious amount of iPhone 4s setting alight lately. Not saying it is definitely untrue, but it seems that one does it, another several do straight afterwards.

    Unless of course they are from the same batch, but again we have no evidence of this, and at the rate this is happening, the investigation and recall would be particularly rapid.
  20. emaja macrumors 68000

    May 3, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I meant that it might be reported more widely in the non-Apple centered media because it was Apple. Of course it is going to be reported here.
  21. paravis macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2010

    Not trying to say the firefighter is a fool or anything, but shouldn't he be trained to not create a bigger problem by throwing a flaming piece of hardware out the window? Maybe it was raining ...

    My phone gets warm sometimes when charging, or if I'm on it for a LONG time with it in my pocket (talking over bluetooth). But after the first time I had it charging on a blanket with a book placed on top of it, when it started roasting I decided that if it got hot enough to catch either the blanket or book on fire, it would be my fault for being so stupid. Same thing happens when the phone is in direct sunlight or if I'm sitting on it. The thing gets really really hot. So considering these things, how dumb do people have to be to insulate their device when it's charging?

    I'm pretty sure Apple states very clearly in one of those papers they send packaged with the phone not to cover it, etc when charging. Of course a firefighter would make it sound like the thing was 100% out of control for no reason to keep his reputation of being a "not stupid" firefighter. After he threw it out the window.

    I'll bet he was the cool guy down at the station after this happened. But I'm not sold on anything but his stupidity.
  22. sbojevets macrumors member

    Feb 7, 2009
    The Arctic
    what's the fuss
    no one reports anything when their non-apple product catches fire
    i've heard of friends' nokia's catching fire back in the day, do they post it on the web?
  23. Akack macrumors 6502a

    Mar 5, 2011
  24. Hastings101 macrumors 68000


    Jun 22, 2010
    In the past few months an iPhone started smoking on an airplane and one caught on fire while charging, that's not exactly a "suspicious amount" lol
  25. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
    Those awesome high capacity batteries being used on phones and small electronics could turn into fireballs if somehow get short-circuited. Or simply a battery defect.

    A loose metal piece, even a metallic nibble could cause an incident like this.
    Also, exposure to extreme temperatures could eventually lead to something like this too. I wonder if this Firefighter takes his phone into the fire action.

    Also, some phone cases could interfere with the chassis' cooling properties, making the phone run hotter than it should be.

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