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Cell Phone Catches Fire Under Pillow; Samsung Points to Warning

A Texas teen who fell asleep with her cell phone under her pillow woke up to something a little more jarring than a late-night text message.

The teen's Samsung Galaxy S4 phone caught fire, igniting her pillow, bedding and mattress, reports Dallas/Fort Worth's KDFW-TV. The girl escaped unharmed, but her phone was completely melted by the fire. The story was a shocker to everyone, it seems -- except the phone's manufacturer, Samsung.

Here's KDFW-TV's report, which has since gone viral:

Warranty Guide Warnings

Surprisingly, the warranty guide for the company's cell phones specifically warns against covering the device with bedding or other material: “Covering the device with bedding, your body, thick clothing, or any other materials that significantly affect air flow may affect the performance of the phone and poses a possible risk of fire or explosion, which could lead to serious bodily injuries or damage to property.”

The girl's phone was also using a replacement battery, not the original Samsung battery. In its warranty guide, Samsung warns that use of non-Samsung-approved replacement batteries and chargers may lead to fires such as the one in this case.

Still, despite the warnings, the company has agreed to replace the girl's phone as well as the bedding and mattress charred by the fire.

Cell Phone Safety Tips

Samsung's warranty guide offers several tips for avoiding fires caused by overheated cell phones, such as the one in this case. Among these tips:

  • Avoid unapproved or second-hand replacement batteries or chargers.
  • Avoid using batteries or chargers that appear damaged in any way.
  • Do not cover the device with bedding, thick clothing, or other material that may restrict airflow.
  • Never place your device near a heat source, including leaving your phone in a hot car.
  • If your device gets wet or is exposed to liquids, have it checked by a service provider even if it appears to be working normally. Water damage may corrode the internal circuitry and cause a malfunction.

As for the girl whose cell phone caught fire, her dad has a suggestion for Samsung: "They should put a big warning on it, like a cigarette label," he told KDFW-TV.

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