Local 6 investigates iPhones spontaneously burning up

Similar incidents reported around the nation


ORLANDO, Fla. – Jacqueline Ivanov said she was driving to work along Interstate 4 last month when smoke started filling up her car.

When she looked down, she saw the fumes were coming from her iPhone 3GS.

She said she tried to pick it up,but it was so hot she immediately tossed it on the floor.  By the time she pulled over on the side of the roadway, the device had melted a portion of her floormat.

"It would have melted my hand.  It would have melted my skin right off," said Ivanov.

A California man told a television station in March that his iPhone injured his hand. 

Travis Dixon said he was playing a game when he heard a popping noise and his phone got hot and started smoldering.

Last November, media reports surfaced about an iPhone that started smoking aboard an Australian airplane.

Apple said they will contact Ivanov and investigate the situation, but did not issue an official statement or comment.

However, a technician at a smartphone repair shop believes these types of incidents would only occur if the phone had previously sustained impact, puncture or water damage in the past.

When Apple reportedly investigated the phone that caught fire aboard an airplane, they found a misplaced screw from a faulty repair had actually punctured the battery.

Ivanov said she dropped her phone in a swimming pool more than a year ago.  She used an at home trick to repair it.

"I put it in a bowl of rice and let it sit for two or three days.  Then it was great.  It worked just fine for a long time," she said.

But Josh Galindo at U-break I -Fix in East Orlando said something like water damage or even a very hard drop on the ground could cause a short in the circuitry of the phone, and lead to problems later on.

"Once you get liquid in the phone with a battery that's stuck in there, the liquid is basically contacting every point on the mother board and causing things to short out," said Galindo.

He said rice is a good short-term solution, but it's best to get the phone properly repaired or replaced.