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May 09, 2015

Girl in Northeast says iPhone caught fire in her back pocket

Sizzling phone causes second-degree burns

The speed of today's mobile mad world has still not produced a case of human spontaneous combustion, but maybe all it takes is a faulty iPhone to get pretty close.

Twelve-year-old Alexis Rolon received an iPhone 5C from her mother so that she could stay in touch in case of an emergency, NBC 10 reports.

As Alexis was heading to school on Friday morning, she started to hear some cracking sounds from the phone in her back pocket. As she continued down a sidewalk, smoke began to stream out from the smartphone.

"All I saw was smoke coming out and then it was my phone. So I threw it on the ground — my butt was, like, burning," the girl recalled.

Alexis threw the phone to the ground and began stomping on it to extinguish the fire. Not only was the phone destroyed and rippled, but doctors at Nazareth hospital determined Alexis had second-degree burns.

Apple would not provide a comment to NBC 10 because the Rolon family had yet to detail the incident directly to the Cupertino, California tech giant. The family said an attorney was reaching out to the company.

In 2009, Apple was sued following a similar incident in Kansas when an iPod Touch exploded in a boy's back pocket. That case was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money. Several other incidents, including an iPhone 5C catching fire in a Maine girl's pocket last year, have prompted consideration of whether there are more lawsuits to come.

In 2011, Apple settled a class-action lawsuit to replace fire-prone MagSafe adapters for the MacBook. That issue cropped up again on Friday when a woman from San Diego filed suit against the company after being burnt by her adapter back in February. (Granted, Samsung hasn't been immune to these problems). 

Like most Apple devotees, however, Alexis doesn't plan to abandon the iPhone. She's just thinking she wants a different one.