What to Know
- A Westchester man says his iPhone 6S Plus caught fire on his dining room table last week
- It happened as he disassembled his phone to fix it: he touched a bubble on the battery, and it "shot out sparks and flames"
- Reports of iPhone fires are rare, and the company has pointed to external damage to the phone as a likely cause
A Westchester man whose iPhone caught fire on his dining room table is a cautionary tale for anyone considering do-it-yourself smartphone repairs.
“I noticed there was a bulge in the screen,” Scarsdale resident Chris Scotto told News 4 New York of his decision to disassemble his iPhone 6S Plus on March 31.
The screen was just the latest problem, he said, noting the phone was also hot to the touch when charging and in use. Scotto had repaired phones before so he didn’t think twice about replacing the screen.
“I lifted up the screen and noticed the battery itself had a bubble in it,” Scotto recounted, pointing out that he immediately disconnected the lithium-ion battery from the phone. But then, “when I touched the bubble, it ignited the phone. … It shot out sparks and flames and it was smoking.”
Scotto immediately scooped up the smoldering and tossed it into a puddle on his porch – before quickly reporting it to Apple.
The company did not return News 4 New York’s phone calls for comment, but it did tell Scotto it will investigate the cause – and it gave him a new phone.
Reports of iPhone fires are rare, and the company has pointed to external damage to the phone as a likely cause. Scotto admitted his phone wasn’t in great shape, but he doubted it was connected to the fire.
“The phone was cracked, the screen was cracked, but it had been cracked for a while even before the phone got hot,” he said.
Regardless, Apple’s policy is clear.
“Do not open the Apple Product,” its warranty policy reads. “Only Apple or an Authorized Apple Service Provider should perform service on this Apple Product.”