An eighth-grade student in Kennebunk, Maine was treated for second-degree burns last week after her iPhone 5c allegedly caught fire spontaneously in her pocket during class. The student was discharged from the hospital after 45 minutes while the once-green smartphone is now charred black and unusable.
“Immediately, smoke starts billowing from around the student,” principal Jeff Rodman told the Portland Press Herald. “She knew right away something was wrong and, in a panic, knew her pants were on fire caused by the cellphone.”
This is the first time we’ve heard of an iPhone 5c spontaneously catching fire, though similar reports surrounding different smartphone models have surfaced in the past. Back in 2011 an iPhone 4 caught fire aboard an Australian airplane. More recently, Samsung came under fire after a defective Galaxy S4 burned down an entire Hong Kong apartment.
It’s unlikely Apple will offer a full explanation for this latest incident. However, the company typically blames these types of accidents on third-party chargers or non-authorized repairs to devices rather than the iPhone’s own design.