iPhone 6 catches fire; Phoenix man claims it caused 2nd degree burns on his leg

It's one of the hottest smartphones on the market but is the new iPhone 6 too hot to handle? A Phoenix man says it was for him; he says his iPhone 6 caught fire while still in his pocket. 10/21/14
A FOX 10 EXCLUSIVE

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- It's one of the hottest smartphones on the market but is the new iPhone 6 too hot to handle? A Phoenix man says it was for him; he says his iPhone 6 caught fire while still in his pocket.

The phone even burned a hole through his pants leaving him with second-degree burns on his leg.

He's now waiting for Apple to explain how this could have happened.

Phillip Lechter showed us the burned jeans he was wearing at the time of the incident, photos of the torched iPhone, and a bandaged wound. 

He says he likes Apple, has used their products for years, and will continue to do so but tonight he says he wants some sort of explanation from the company.

"It's been a little over a week now, so I've had the opportunity to get some good medicine on it," said Lechter.

Lechter is nursing a burn on his leg; he says he got from his iPhone 6.

"It wasn't like a puff of smoke, I could actually feel my leg burning and I couldn't figure out what it was," he said.

Lechter was in town for the U of A football game October 11th. He says he was riding in a Rickshaw with his family when it hit something and started to tip over. His iPhone was in his front pocket.

"As the rickshaw tipped, I stepped out like this, and it drove the Apple phone into the bar of the rickshaw... luckily we weren't injured at all, it was just one of those weird sensations like a roller coaster ride until I realized my pants were on fire" said Lechter.

Lechter says the phone burned through his jeans and his boxers. 

"So these were the pants I was wearing... the part had the most heat was the glass, and that was up against my leg," he said.

Lechter described seeing flames from his phone.

"The flames were coming out of the pocket the smoke was coming out of here... it did burn me as I pulled it out," said Lechter.

He took photos of the iPhone shortly after the incident.

"It's a lithium battery, it's a situation through the bending of the phone, it popped the lithium battery which caused the burning," he said.

Lechter was able to get the phone out of his pants, and he threw it to the side. Someone walking by happened to get video of a cup of ice being thrown on the phone and you can hear it sizzling.

Lecther says he has 2nd degree burns on his leg. He took the iPhone to the Apple store in Scottsdale the next day.

"They were pretty shocked; they'd never seen something like that before," said Lecther. 

Apple replaced the phone, but Lechter wants the company to address what he says happened to him.

"If a child or teenager was riding their bike, had their phone on them, they fell and hurt themselves and couldn't get the phone out of their pocket, what kind of situation are we in there now... they need to make sure they protect the public. Because I always used the case to protect the phone, I didn't know I needed a case to protect myself" he said.

Lecther says last Sunday employees at the Scottsdale store said someone from corporate would contact him.

So far he hasn't heard from anyone at Apple. He doesn't plan to sue, but he would like Apple to pay his medical bills.

FOX 10 reached out to Apple for comment, but a spokesperson said they were not sure if they'd have a comment on the incident.

Phillip Lechter's blog post: My APPLE iPHONE 6 bent and caught on fire in my front pocket!


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