iPhone 6 Bends, Catches Fire in Pants Pocket, Man Claims

The man says he now has second-degree burns.

Mr. Lechter's phone, post-fire. (YouTube)

Mr. Lechter’s phone, post-fire. (YouTube)

The iPhone 6’s questionable bendiness — perhaps better known as #Bendgate — might have just become a lot more serious.

A man, Phillip Lechter, claims his iPhone 6 bent and caught fire in his pocket following a minor pedicab accident in Tucson, Ariz., on the weekend of Oct. 11. The flaming gadget, Mr. Lechter attests on his blog, burned through his jeans, and left first- and second-degree burns on his leg.

The harrowing experience began when the pedicab in which Mr. Lechter and his family were riding lost its balance, and tipped over to the left. He says he was jostled to the point of being half-on, half off the rickshaw. After checking to make sure his wife and son were okay, Mr. Lechter noticed something was off about his leg.

“I felt a burning sensation on my leg and then saw and smelled smoke from my pants,” he writes. “I surveyed the rickshaw quickly and could not find anything that could have set me on fire.  Then it hit me, my phone was in my pocket.”

Mr. Lechter says he lay down to extract the iPhone from his pocket, and threw it aside. “The smell was disturbing,” he writes. “I could feel my leg burning.”

Proving that humanity isn’t entirely doomed, bystanders came to Mr. Lechter’s assistance. Unfortunately, Mr. Lechter claims one of them was burned, too.

“Someone from a crowd of spectators threw a cup of water on my leg to put the fire out on my jeans,” he writes. “I had a leather Apple case on the phone, and the case was facing forward, and that saved my fingers from getting badly burned when i went to remove the phone from my pocket.  A bystander was not so lucky; he picked up the phone without the case and burned his fingers.”

Another bystander poured ice water over the sizzling phone:

At the end of the blog post, Mr. Lechter summed up the results of the ordeal:

My APPLE iPhone 6 burned through my jeans pocket, through my boxers and significantly burned my leg.  In the process of removing the phone from my pocket I also burnt my hip.  The Doctor’s report described a 11.5 cm x 10.5 cm burn area on my right leg and classified the burn as 2nd degree with first degree burns surrounding the area. According to the Doctor, the burn will require cleanliness, antibiotics and pain management for treatment.

According to Geek, the iPhone 6 probably burst into flame because its battery was punctured. If anyone enjoys photos of charred flesh, Mr. Lechter provides a series of photos of his burned leg and hip at the end of his blog post.

Sadly, gadgets spontaneously bursting into flame isn’t anything new. Back in July, we reported on the teen whose Samsung phone burst into flame while she was sleeping. And let’s not forget the poor 72-year-old woman whose Dell laptop unexpectedly exploded in her face.

Apple has not yet commented on the situation. Often, when accidents like this happen, tech companies avoid blame by suggesting the victim was using an off-brand charger, or mis-using the gadget in some other way (as if that makes it normal for a device to randomly explode.

Mr. Lechter says the unfortunately incident has resulted in “interruptions to my business, workout, and family life.” Here’s hoping he recovers soon.

[h/t Geek, Mac Rumors Forums]