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Cell phone explodes: Texas teen's Samsung phone catches fire under her pillow

Be careful where you leave your phone to charge.
Be careful where you leave your phone to charge.
Fox Tampa Bay

A Texas teenager woke up in the middle of the night when she smelled something burning, but she wasn't sure exactly what it was. reported on July 25, 2014, that she soon realized it was her cell phone that was charging under her pillow as it caught fire and burned up to the point where it was unrecognizable.

13-year-old Ariel Tolfreen had plugged up her Samsung Galxy S4 and placed it under her pillow before she went to sleep. She loves her phone because it's, "nice and pretty," and because "it's high tech."

Guess she never realized just how hot it could actually be while texting and using apps and playing around on it.

My Fox Tampa Bay said that she actually smelled something burning in the middle of the night but "didn't think much of it" so she went back to sleep. A little while later, she smelled something stronger and realized there was something burning.

Upon looking under her pillow, her phone was a shadow of its former self as it was burnt beyond recognition. There were also big burn marks in her pillow and on her bed. Tolfree's father believes the phone overheated which caused the battery to swell up and eventually catch on fire.

“We have a reasonable expectation that the products we buy are going to be safe,” said Thomas Tolfree.

A Samsung spokesperson said their products are indeed safe and tested, and also let it be known that the battery in Tolfree's phone was a replacement. It was not an original Samsung battery.

Samsung does post a warning in their user guide that states covering one of its products with any kind of material could cause a fire due to restricted airflow. Thomas and Ariel had not read those warnings and were not aware of them.

The company has requested Ariel Tolfree send her burned up cell phone to them so they can do some research on it. They want to investigate the situation and see what else can be found out about it.

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