A Winthrop Paramedic’s Wake-Up Call: An Exploding Phone

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How was your morning?

A Winthrop first-responder got a first-hand look at the perils of faulty electronics over the weekend when his cell phone exploded inside an ambulance service’s sleeping quarters. A paramedic with Action Ambulance Service Inc., who the Globe identified as Steve Enright, woke up early Saturday to the eruption of his Samsung Galaxy S6 on a bedside table, the company wrote on Facebook.

The incident triggered fire alarms and prompted a visit from the Winthrop Fire Department, but there were no injuries and no property damage, the company says.

Another Samsung phone, the Galaxy Note 7, is now the subject of a recall due to combustible battery packs that could cost $1 billion as 25 million units are replaced. Action Ambulance wrote on Facebook that the exploded phone was one of those models, but later issued a correction.

The possibility that one’s phone could transform into a puddle of melted plastic in an instant became a scary reality for Enright. His coworker, Shane McKenney, tells the Globe Enright was “freaked out” by the ordeal.

Now the first-responders are using the explosion as a cautionary tale, and pointing people to a list of tips for preventing something similar from happening to them at home. Among them: don’t replace standard batteries with low-quality ones, don’t use knock-off chargers, and don’t charge phones in places without proper ventilation, like under a pillow.

“This does serve as a reminder that any phone can be a potential fire hazard,” the ambulance service wrote on Facebook.

Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2016/09/06/samsung-explode-winthrop/