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Samsung Galaxy S III Bursts into Flames While Charging Overnight

by Jacob Kleinman | May 29, 2013May 29, 2013 7:30 am PST

This isn’t the first time we’ve reported on spontaneous smartphone combustion, and lithium ion batteries have been known to overheat easily. Still, all the precedent in the world couldn’t prepare you for what one Samsung Galaxy S III owner experienced two nights ago.

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to find your smartphone burning a hole through your mattress, and spewing both smoke and molten hot plastic. Well you don’t have to imagine because this ex-Galaxy S III owner described the entire experience in a post on Reddit:

Last night at about 3:15am EST (about 1 hour after i plugged it in and went to sleep) I was awoken by a loud noise and a weird squeaking sound. (I charge my phone while I’m sleeping on my bed right next to me)

So, I woke up, and saw a ton of smoke coming out of my phone — it also smelled REALLY bad. Half asleep, I jumped out of bed and turned the light on, only to see that my phone was just beginning to go on fire. I dumped a glass of water I had in the room on it to stop it from burning…then woke up my brother to come help. The smoke smelled so bad and wafted through the entire second floor of my house. I had a foam mattress pillow top that had a hole burned through it too–which we later threw out because it was still burning throughout. Also, some of the plastic on my phone was melting and kind of shooting out of it, and some landed on my pinky finger and burned some skin off (very small burn though)…

ALSO: To answer many questions: EVERYTHING was stock/Samsung that I had received when I purchased my phone. Stock battery, charger, etc. Additionally, my phone was NOT rooted.

We reached out to Samsung and a representative confirmed that the company is aware of the incident and will investigate the cause once it receives the destroyed Galaxy S III. “Once the investigation is complete, we will be able to provide further details on the situation,” wrote a Samsung representative. “We are committed to providing our customers with the safest products possible and are looking at this seriously.” Hopefully the company can shed more light on the situation shortly.

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Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...