Cellphone battery explodes at St. Johns County repair shop

Technician was replacing battery when it caught fire

By Crystal Moyer - Traffic/reporter, Nick Jones - Digital producer

FRUIT COVE, Fla. - A technician at a St. Johns County smartphone repair shop is warning consumers after a phone battery exploded in the store.

Fred Davis, the lead technician at iRepairFast in Fruit Cove, said he was replacing a battery on an iPhone 6s. He put the phone on a hot plate to loosen the adhesive holding the battery in place, and placed it on the table to cool down.

"I heard a pop, I looked over and the table is just up in flames," Davis said. "I've been here for 18 months and I've never had anything like that happen."

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are used for most modern gadgets. Davis said these types of incidents are rare and noted the phone he was working on was purchased on eBay.

"It seems like there was a defect in there or it was just really old," Davis said.

When it comes to a consumer checking their cellphone battery, Apple is working on new software to test a battery's health. Consumers should avoid opening the phone, as that could damage it. Repair shops like iRepairFast can check it over in minutes.

A variety of factors can cause a battery to explode, but extreme heat is a common reason. Davis said phones can overheat in a car, pocket or while the user is on the phone. Consumers who notice their phone frequently getting hot should have it checked out.

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