Student’s Pants Set Afire by Apple iPhone

A student from Kennebunk, Maine who is 13 years old sustained what doctors described as moderate burns on Friday after an iPhone she had in her back pockets caught fire, reported a located newspaper.

It is not clear from that report, which model of iPhone had been involved.

The scary incident took place early in Friday at the Kennebunk Middle School, when the students reported hearing a popping sound when she sat at her school desk. Smoke immediately started to billow out of her back pants pocket where the iPhone had been located.

Jeff Rodman, the Principal of the middle school said that other students in her class aided her while the teacher in the class found a blanket so the flames could be smothered.

As the middle school student attempted to take off her pants, the mobile phone fell from the back pockets and appeared to be visibly burnt, said Rodman.

Rodman said this was a case people had never seen prior to Friday, including the principal himself.

Andrew Palmeri, the Division Chief of the EMS speculated that the battery inside the iPhone had shorted out at the time the student sat down on it.

Palmeri said that the fire would be investigated fully by the state’s fire marshal. Apple has not yet issued a statement regarding Friday’s incident and usually conducts its own private investigation prior to releasing information to the public.

Rodman said that the quick reactions by students likely prevented serious injury to the young girl. He commended her fellow students, the staff at the school and the first responders in Kennebunk for responding immediately.

Although it is a very strange thing to have an iPhone burst into flames, it is not unheard of. A number of years ago, an iPhone 4 ignited on an airline flight in Australia.

A California man, more recently, said his iPhone 4 ignited while charging at home.

IPads are also not immune to spontaneous combustion. An iPad used for demo at a Canderra, Australia store burst into flames during November of 2013.

While the exact number of these incidents is not known, the batteries that are lithium-ion used to power mobile devices have a potential to combust when ruptured or overheated.

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