Atlanta man's iPhone 6 Plus catches fire, leaves him pants-less in a crowded parking lot

Ah, the stories about exploding phones – they always make us feel slightly paranoid about the devices that we keep in our own pockets, and often act as the Bogeyman who entices us to only buy products that are deemed to be high quality, from certified retailers. When a cheap device catches fire, we brush it off as a non-issue. When an expensive phone goes pop in someone's pocket, we are reminded to be ever mindful how close to the body we carry ours.

Well, a report coming from WSB-TV Atlanta talks about a man who was forced to take his pants off on a crowded Home Depot parking lot, because his iPhone 6 Plus caught fire. Reportedly, the man, who only went as “Rocky” for the camera, felt his jeans pocket heating up and noticed smoke coming out. He reacted quickly by taking his pants off, throwing them to the side, and looking away. Thankfully, Mr. Rocky didn't sustain any serious physical injuries – just the shame of standing pants-less in a parking lot.

The man went to find out where the feisty smartphone originated from and it turns out it has been a pre-owned iPhone 6 Plus, which was refurbished by a 3rd party company — not Apple — and then was sold to Rocky by his carrier. The news report doesn't go to tell us whether the phone was advertised as a brand-new unit on purchase, so we'd wager it wasn't.

In the end, Rocky was sent a replacement iPhone 6 Plus from the refurbishing company, but the man says he is still not entirely happy. No one has taken full responsibility about the event, and no one has issued an official apology to the man who was forced to show his underwear to a number of strangers in broad daylight. Apple's comment on the matter was that the company will investigate and get to the bottom of what caused this issue, but declined to make further statements at this time.

What causes phones to spontaneously combust? In most cases it's a damaged and unstable battery. Such damage can be inflicted either by using a low-quality 3rd party charger, or by actually physically deforming the battery – like bending or denting it. In the case of Rocky's iPhone 6 Plus, one might speculate that the device bent in his pocket (remember #bendgate?), which caused the battery to get deformed. However, from the shots shown to us at that report, the device's frame doesn't seem to have been bent, so we don't think that was the culprit. And as far as 3rd party chargers go – Apple is pretty adamant on not allowing their products to be charged by just any adapter. The accessories need to be MFi (made for iPhone / iPad / iPod) certified, otherwise they just won't work.

This just goes to show us that we need to be ever-mindful about the piece of tech that we keep close to us at all times, care for its health, and do the best we can, so that it doesn't harm ours.

source: WSB-TV 2 via Ubergizmo

Related phones

iPhone 6 Plus
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2915 mAh(24h 3G talk time)



1. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Probably listening to that trap-oriented mixtape, too damn fire it had to explode! Who is this rocky person...Rocky Balboa himself? Aaaand for the trolls and/or Samsung fanboys, say it me. Nobody makes money with....

3. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

.... Apple.

50. Jango

Posts: 376; Member since: Oct 24, 2014

Another day, another Apple fail

53. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

Apple fails are everyday!

54. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Nah. It's not apple's fault, just as pa said. It's the user's fault. End of conversation.

56. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

yeah right, he should buy iPhone 6S plus

59. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

He rather should buy anything else other than what from the company that got his pants ripped-off in publuc!

49. Astonvan

Posts: 237; Member since: Aug 14, 2015

you mean "this mixtape is fire - dillon francis"

55. matistight

Posts: 1052; Member since: May 13, 2009

That's what happens when you have 2014 Forrest Hills, Beauty Behind the Madness, Rodeo, DS2, and Free TC on your phone! I would say it is because he purchased a gold one, but you can't really tell by the pictures. But to stay on topic, if the phone is out of the 1 year warranty, Apple tells you that they're not responsible for anything other than the battery (and by battery, they're only responsible with the battery expanding, whether it is in warranty or not, because that is a hazard. Lowered battery life is not their fault, because that happens after about 300 charge cycles on any Li-Ion battery, and if that doesn't happen to you, then you have a "defect" because they're made to fail after a year of use.) Also, if you spend over $500 on the device, USE OEM PRODUCTS! OEM CABLES ARE LIKE $7 ON EBAY!!!! And it is not legal for them to say that the product is OEM and end up being counterfeit or aftermarket, so don't even try.

2. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

Me: #firegate Apple: No, you're pocketing it wrong. *ROTFL!*

8. Podrick

Posts: 1285; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

You are wearing your pants wrong!

10. WPX00

Posts: 513; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

Made my day! Haha!

36. Unordinary unregistered

Rather have my pants catch fire where I can take it off, than die because my pillow catches fire while I'm sleeping :/

58. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

Your pillow catching fire whilst asleep will probably wake you up!

60. Unordinary unregistered

Didnt wake up the young boy and his family who died in the house fire two years ago. Sad.

4. phonehome

Posts: 812; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

Maybe "Rocky" is an ambulance chaser....and wears his pants well below the waistline, so wouldn't be 'embarrassed' (aside from cashing in on it).

9. tedkord

Posts: 17509; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Or, maybe he's just a regular guy who's phone caught fire due to a faulty lithium battery. It happens, just be glad no one was hurt.

5. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I Bet He Has Been Using An Unofficial Charger LOL.

7. nenadmitrovic

Posts: 64; Member since: Aug 01, 2014

Or his mp3 was not provided by apple

18. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

If You Own One Of Our Devices And You Are Not Using Official Apple Accessories And Services Your Device Will Catch Fire. Should Be Apple's New Marketing Slogan LOL.

24. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015


29. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

You're using the unofficial 'shift' button apparently.

38. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Yeah Its My Thing. I Can't Stop LOL, Trying To Type Normal Is To Hard Now.

6. Podrick

Posts: 1285; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

Apple, Rip off your money and pants!

52. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

They rip-off just about everything you own.

11. jesus_sheep

Posts: 279; Member since: Apr 18, 2015

Tim Cook uses a Windows phone. Steve Ballmer a Blackberry.

37. Unordinary unregistered

Tim Cook uses a Windows phone?! LMFAO!!! That'll be the day.

51. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

Such a thing can't ever happen.

12. KillerKeyboard

Posts: 372; Member since: Nov 21, 2013

What a liar.

13. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The fact the phone wasn't refurbished by Apple is irrelevant. many smartphones are not refurbished by the OEM. We aren't an OEM and refurbish phones. However we have a very tedious testing process which takes 5 days. If a phone fails in those five days it simply is trashed. If the phone passes out 5 day testing than it is certified and sent to the carriers to be used as replacements or purchased as refurbished. Theer is nothing to get to the bottom of. Its a cheap chinese asembled product where the Chinese level of quality and workmanship is simply not on the same level as the Japanese or Koreans. Any phone can explode and no brand is immune to it. But it seems the iPhone has been the most vulnerable. I have charged my Samsung phones with 1st, 2nnd and 3rd party charges for months and have NEVER had one explode or get damaged. But those 2nd and 3rd party chargers were certified OEM chargers from other brands, not some knock-off. Not saying anyone should make that a habit. But I did watch a factual video that stated, that especially with Android phones since they all use MicroUSB for the port, as long as you use a branded charger, you shouldnt have any issues charging. Only that those chargers may charge your device slower than its original one. Samsung phones will tell you when you arent using an original Samsung charger, but in my experience, I dont get the message if its a non-standard cheap charger. If I use a branded one from another phone I never get the message. iPhone dont even warn you if you are using a low quality charger or chargign able. When I try to use a cheap cable, my Samsung will constantly make the connect and disconnect sound letting me know my cable is damaged or not a good one and it will refuse to charge. Again, Korean workmanship vs chinese workmanship. I am glad the guy didnt suffer any injuries. makes me afraid to carry any phone in my pocket. I am curious as to maybe the display was on while in his pocket and the phone simply overheated and the battery exploded. That is what it sounds like to me.

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