iPod Lights Your Pants On Fire, Not In A Good Way

“So I look down and I see flames coming up to my chest,” said Danny Williams. His iPod Nano, and subsequently, his pants, were on fire.

Worse, he was in an airport. “If TSA had come by and seen me smoking, they could have honestly thought I was a terrorist,” said Williams. That would have been bad.

Apple is willing to replace the device, but William’s mom called the media because she was concerned about other people’s pants lighting on fire. We can understand that. The Nano is powered by the notoriously fire-prone lithium-ion type of battery, says WSB news.

WSB in Atlanta called Apple to see how common the problem was:

After Channel 2 sent Apple pictures of the iPod, they called back but they refused to say how common the problem is. In fact, Apple refused to talk about this particular incident at all. “

Man’s Pants Catch Fire At Airport [WSB] (Thanks, Aaron!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. B says:

    Apple: We’re not saying he’s lying, but we do have footage of his pants on fire.

  2. Shadowfire says:

    The battery in my 360 controller (play and charge battery) once got so hot that it burned my finger, raising a blister (second degree, for you boy scouts). To this day, MS has still not helped me replace my battery.

    Just a somewhat related note… :P

  3. mandarin says:

    Somehow this gives me a feeling of going to Shenanigans…

  4. louisb3 says:

    It’s pretty irresponsible and inaccurate to imply that ALL lithium-ion batteries are fire hazards.

  5. ScramDiggyBooBoo says:

    I dont know why, but i just got a new LG VX8700 phone yesterday and already i’ve noticed that the battery gets pretty hot when i am talking, although it does have an aluminum back so maybe its just heat transfer. I guess i’ll know when my pants catch on fire!

  6. FLConsumer says:

    Report it to the CSPC. Granted, the CSPC has no major balls/teeth, it does tend to look bad and generally will make a company “voluntarily” recall their products.

    Bring on the flaming ipods! As a fringe benefit, this might reduce the capacity of Apple fanbois to reproduce, which would be a very good thing.

  7. FLConsumer says:

    @ScramDiggyBooBoo: Make sure the battery is a real LG battery (it’ll have an LG logo on it, might even have a hologram type thing on it.) The Chinese knock-offs have a propensity to overheat & catastrophically fail.

  8. Beerad says:

    Can we please stop referring to anbody who likes any Apple products as a “fanboi”? Last time I checked, iPods were pretty ubiquitous — is it just possible that people buy them because they are a good product and not out of blind company loyalty? And no, I don’t own one although I’ve been eyeing the iPhone.

  9. Sathallrin says:

    @FLConsumer: Thanks for the tip, I just checked the battery in my LG and it has the LG logo.

  10. kris in seattle says:

    I am so afraid now of my iPod nano *stares at nano fearfully as it lies on work desk*

  11. empkae says:

    It is amazing that you cannot fly with a tube of toothpaste, but you are welcome to use clearly dangerous battery powered devices. If a laptop, or ipod, or whatever were in stowed luggage and caught fire while unobserved it could bring down the plane.

  12. Trae says:

    Which revision of the Nano was it?

  13. maxmax says:

    It’s only a matter of time before this happens in a checked bag on an airplane.

  14. ElizabethD says:

    I wish I could have seen this just so I could yell “Liar, liar!” at the poor guy. Just once.

  15. Shadowfire says:

    @maxmax: And that will be hilarious…

  16. Shadowman615 says:

    @ElizabethD: rofl

  17. Critcol says:

    @Trae: 1st Gen black, saw a pic of the guy on another website.

  18. Balisong says:

    I’m not so sure it’s a better deal for those headphones to divert the lightning from your head if your pants’ll catch on fire ;p

  19. OnceWasCool says:

    Somebody should come out with a cookbook on how to cook with your iPod Nano!

  20. Graedus says:

    10,000 bonus points for the Electric 6+Jack White header.

    Danger! High Voltage

  21. SVreader says:

    But are they on a telephone wire?

  22. miguelggarcia says:

    How many iPod nanos have been sold? How many incidents of this kind have been reported? As far as I know, only two. (Both cases can be found here: [www.engadget.com]
    I know, even 1 case is important, but I think that the story is a little misleading… Why?
    -The guy’s pants were not on fire… As the reporter says “because ha had a piece of glossy paper on his pocket”… I think that someone that is protected of a fire burn with a piece of glossy paper is using the term “fire” very loosely.
    -“The Nano is powered by the notoriously fire-prone lithium-ion type of battery, says WSB news”. Just figuring… Of the millions and millions of devices powered by lithium batteries: how many of them have failed? Just asking.

  23. tph says:

    @Graedus: Jack White wasn’t on that track: [www.antimusic.com]

    But I am super stocked to spend another evening with Mr. Valentine this Sunday at First Ave.

  24. univision says:

    Sounds like bull to me. I live in Atlanta, and they are making such a big stink about it here on the news. I guess there isn’t much going that’s newsworthy in the ATL.
    And for what it’s worth, they guy looks and sounds like he’s the type of user that would charge his nano in the microwave.

  25. XTC46 says:


    I agree, it pisses me off going through TSA at airports (I fly often) and they take my cologne if I bring it, bottled water, etc But I go through with my laptop extended battery, my extra laptop battery, my iPod, my Cell Phones (work and personal). I could easily sting some extra wire in my laptop, and short circuit the batteries I have to make a small, but highly damaging explosive. I guess if they started not allowing batteries they would loose a lot of business. Much more than not allowing shampoo.

  26. deadsalmon says:

    Up to his chest? Whoops, there goes the BS detector. Clearly it melted down, and the charring in the pictures suggest some flames, but I’m not buying that they were a couple of feet high before he noticed (without burning through his pants to his leg, at that).

    Of course, it makes a better story that way. Imagine that.

  27. Crim Law Geek says:

    I’ve never seen a battery explode first-hand, but from the videos I’ve seen, they seem to catch fire more than “explode”. I really don’t think you could punch a hole in an aircraft’s hull with a laptop or iPod battery.

    As for it catching fire in an unattended cargo hold, those areas are equipped with fire suppression systems. Also, IIRC, cargo holds are mostly unpressurized, so there isn’t much in the way of oxygen to sustain a fire anyways.

  28. factotum says:

    @louisb3: But it’s true. Those types of batteries are prone to exploding. That’s why you must NEVER get them wet, or nick them, or cause the internals to be exposed to air.

    Hell, even the factories that make them have more than once been burned to the ground because of them!