updated 10:00 pm EST, Fri January 31, 2014
Eighth-grader heard "pop" as she sat down with phone in back pocket
An iPhone 5c in Kennebunk Maine appears to have exploded early Friday morning when a 14-year-old student sat down with the device her back pocket, heard a "pop" and noticed smoke coming from her pants. The young lady, who was treated and released from a local hospital for "moderate" first- and second-degree burns, was assisted by classmates and staff to quickly get out of the pants where the "burnt" iPhone was later discovered.
The school was placed in a hold situation for around 20 minutes as emergency crews responded to the incident, the principal of the school told parents in an email explaining the incident. He credited quick action by the victim, the girl's classmates and staff was credited with preventing worse burns or injury. The "shorting out" of the battery happened around 7:40am as the girl was sitting down to begin the school day.
The girl immediately initiated a "stop, drop and roll" fire response reaction, trying to get out of the pants as smoke billowed from them with the assistance of classmates. "I commend the students, I commend our staff, and the Kennebunk first responders for their immediate response and for the way it was handled," Rodman said. "It was just a strange thing. A great response by everybody involved." He added that the entire incident was "something that I don't think people had ever seen before. I've never seen anything like that"
The state fire marshall is investigating the incident, said EMS Division Chief Andrew Palmeri, adding that "People should obviously use caution when placing their phones in their back pockets so as not to crush them and cause an electrical short." Apple typically also investigates such incidents to determine the true cause and prevent other incidents from occurring.