Cellphone Ignites In Pocket, Burning Man’s Body And Hotel Room

UPDATE: It wasn’t a cellphone after all.

Maybe the world’s batteries are staging some kind of protest?

    “A cell phone apparently ignited in a man’s pocket and started a fire that burned his hotel room and caused severe burns over half his body, fire department officials said.

    Luis Picaso, 59, was in stable condition Monday with second- and third-degree burns to his upper body, back, right arm and right leg, Vallejo Fire Department assistant chief Kurt Henke said.

    Firefighters arrived at the residential hotel Saturday night to find Picaso lying on the bathroom floor after a malfunctioning cell phone in his pants pocket set fire to his nylon and polyester clothes, Henke said.

    The flames spread to a plastic chair, setting off a sprinkler that held the fire in check, he said.

    Authorities declined to name the phone’s manufacturer and model.

    The fire and water caused $75,000 damage to the room and a business on the ground floor, Henke said.”

Let’s get those fancy new, non-self-immolating batteries on the market, shall we? Although we can’t help but wonder if the fire wasn’t exacerbated by the man’s “nylon and polyester clothes.” — BEN POPKEN

Man’s cell phone ignites in pocket [MSNBC] (Thanks to Jpac!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. etinterrapax says:

    I wonder, was he sleeping? Because it seems like you’d notice that burning sensation at the hip before half your body went up in flames.

  2. Kornkob says:

    Ever seen nylon burn? It can go up quick.

    My father damn near died on Antarctica when he accidentally backed into a forced air heater. His outer layer burned off in seconds and he survived only because snow puts out fire really well and his teammates got him into an emergency shelter in seconds.

    Having seen the video of dell laptop explosions I can easily see where a phone might burst into flame suddenly and leave the person unable to fish it out of the pocket before they are incapacitated by the pain. Never mind if the guy was a intoxicated.

    It’ll be interesting to know if it was an aftermarket battery or not— if there’s ever a follow up. I wonder why the authorities didn’t comment on the make and model. They didn’t know? I can’t see it being an investigative issue– it’s not like keeping the phone brand secret is going to aid their investigations, as near as I can tell.

  3. I see articles about this once or twice a year, but usually the person notices their pocket smoking and gets rid of the flaming cell phone. I think this is the first one I’ve seen where serious injuries have resulted.

    Every time I see one I remind myself that this is why I use a belt holster rather than putting the little fireball in my pocket.

  4. This is why I wear flame retardant boxers.

  5. buthidae says:

    $10 says he was using an aftermarket battery!

  6. Pelagius says:

    This article brought to you by the Cotton Grower’s Association of America in cooperation with the American Sheep Industry.

  7. phloighd says:

    Does igniting in one’s pocket constitute a material adverse effect?

  8. spunkmeyer says:

    The phone looks like a Motorola V186 or V220…Both use the same battery. Both are owned by me 8|

  9. SexCpotatoes says:

    Leisure Suit Larry FTW!!!

  10. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    There’s enough energy stored in that little tiny lithium-ion battery to make a nice little fire. All the more reason not to wear polyester.

    Somewhere, there’s a dapper English gentleman thinking “Hmm…cellphone grenades….that might just work. I bet 007 could use something like that.”