Texas Teen's Cell Phone Catches on Fire While She's Sleeping


A Dallas teenager’s Samsung phone reportedly caught fire as she was sleeping with the device under her pillow.

Ariel Tolfree, 13, told KDFW her Samsung Galaxy S4 caught fire during the night while she was sleeping.

“The whole phone melted,” said her dad, Thomas. “The plastic, the glass. You can’t even really tell that it was a phone.” Tolfree says her phone slipped under her pillow as she fell asleep, and the smell of something burning woke her up in the night.
“I didn’t think much of it, so I went back to sleep, and then I woke up again and it was more prominent,” said Tolfree.

Wait, she went back to sleep after she thought she smelled burning? How do you downplay that? “Huh, that smells like burning metal and plastic coming from right underneath my head. Whatevs; it’s probably just Mom making a big deal out of my math homework again.”

Her dad suspects the phone overheated, causing the battery to swell and start a fire.

Great, as if I didn’t already have enough stupid irrational fears to keep me locked up in my basement and afraid to interact with human society in any way, shape or form. I’m sure I will sleep like a baby tonight, wondering if my electronic gadgets will just spontaneously combust (or be wakened by SkyNet) in the middle of the night.

Of course, this may be some weird scam to defraud Samsung or get famous for being the person who had their phone catch on fire in the middle of the night. Nonetheless, Samsung reached out to say they were looking into the matter:

A spokesperson for Samsung says their products are safe, and pointed out that the battery inside the phone was a replacement unit and not an original Samsung part.
Nevertheless, the company does agree there is a need for consumer education when it comes to rechargeable batteries. That’s exactly why they post a warning in their user guide, which specifically states covering one of their devices with bedding or other material could restrict airflow and cause a fire.

The Tolfrees told KDFW that didn’t read that warning and they think it should probably be a lot bigger. Samsung wants to check out the burnt remains of the phone so they can investigate further. They are also replacing Tolfree’s bedding, mattress and pillow that was destroyed during the fire.

The fucking phone burst into flames and burnt to a crisp. This has to qualify for a free upgrade, right?

Screencap via KDFW.

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