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'My phone just started to smoke': Victor girl left with second-degree burns after iPhone catches fire in pocket

Kaci Jones
Updated: September 11, 2019 11:33 PM
Created: September 11, 2019 11:28 PM

VICTOR, N.Y. (WHEC) -- A recent survey found more than 80% of teens prefer an iPhone. One of those teens, 13-year-old Maggie Allen, had a big problem with her iPhone 6s last Thursday.

"My phone just started to smoke and I didn't know what it was because it was in my back pocket," Maggie Allen said.

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She was standing in front of her home in Victor waiting for the school bus, and her mom Janelle Allen saw it happen. 

"When I say spontaneous combustion, it was instant," Janelle Allen said. "She started freaking out, I started freaking out, she took the phone out, threw it on the ground, and we took her inside."

The Allens say the phone burned a hole through Maggie's new jeans, leaving second-degree burns on her skin. Now she's taking antibiotics and ointment to treat her injury.

"What if she had been on the bus with all those kids, what if it happened while she was in school?" Janelle said. "I just keep thinking about how this could've been a bigger incident."

There are four iPhones still in their home, and Janelle Allen wonders how and why this happened to her daughter's phone.

Marcus Williams owns a cell phone store and has been doing iPhone repairs for a decade.

"Unfortunately, Apple products have a history of doing that...this is nothing new," Williams said. "The company makes the batteries so that you can't remove them yourself, in theory this is supposed to make them more safe and secure, but there are a lot of cases of these batteries overheating."

A quick Google search shows this has happened in California, Nevada and New Jersey with the iPhone 6 or 6s.

Earlier this year, Apple recalled several MacBook models for overheating batteries. So what does Apple have to say about this?

News10NBC called and emailed the tech giant. A representative said safety is a top priority and they are looking into what happened. The representative said they needed more time to research the report.

"I just want them to understand how frightened she was," Janelle Allen said. "I want them to own up to the fact that there was an incident with their product and apologize."

Maggie Allen now has upgraded to an iPhone X. This new model does not have a history of similar problems, but she's still concerned.

"Now my friends are scared about their phones," Maggie Allen said. "Even my neighbor that saw it says he's scared to put his phone in his pocket."

Apple recommends that people only use Apple chargers and accessories to reduce the risk of malfunctions.


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