“A B.C. couple are demanding Apple pay $600,000 in uninsured losses after they were forced to close their farm business following a devastating house fire that they claim was sparked by a faulty iPhone,” Yvette Brend reports for CBC News. “Cathy and Ian Finley believe a three-month-old iPhone 6 left plugged into a charge cord somehow heated up and started a fire in their living room in October 2016.”
“Fire officials who found the blackened device while investigating reported that ‘it would appear that the phone or charger generated enough heat to ignite’ in a chair that was identified as the place the fire started,’ Brend reports. “While there’s no official determination of the cause of the fire, it’s sparked the passions of people who support the Finleys’ business, Laurica Farm. Hundreds of people have signed a petition on Change.org and Facebook demanding Apple pay the family for losses after they were forced to close their popular farm, which was known for kids camps and sustainable farming tours.”
“Apple confirmed it is looking into the couple’s claim, but had no comment,” Brend reports. “Exactly how flames were sparked in the Langley, B.C., farmhouse on Oct. 11, 2016, remains unclear.”
“After a year of negotiating, a $600,000 insurance payout allowed the Finleys to begin rebuilding. But the ordeal hurt their farming business and insurance didn’t cover all costs,” Brend reports. “A year later, after building up the courage to call Apple, then months of chasing them for help and sobbing on the phone, Finley said she has given up on addressing the issue with them directly… So now, the Finleys are trying to shame Apple into covering those losses by letting people hear the tearful recordings of their calls to the company, which they’ve published on social media.”
“A private forensic firm working for fire officials has the destroyed phone. Apple has been unable to examine the burned phone or cord and won’t commit to further action until then,” Brend reports. “Langley Fire Prevention Officer Capt. Ken Strand… clarified that an official cause of the fire has yet to be determined. ‘The cellphone was on a combustible surface while charging. It was in the area of origin but was not ruled out or determined to be the igniting object or direct cause of the fire,’ he wrote to CBC. The Co-operators [the Finleys’ insurance company] told CBC they are ready to let Apple examine the phone as soon as they can all get together.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: So amid a bunch of attempts to tug at heartstrings (see full article), some salient facts shine through:
• “There’s no official determination of the cause of the fire.”
• “Exactly how flames were sparked in the Langley, B.C., farmhouse on Oct. 11, 2016, remains unclear.”
• “Apple has been unable to examine the burned phone or cord.”
• “An official cause of the fire has yet to be determined.”
Yet, hundreds of people have signed a petition demanding that Apple pay $600,000 despite there being no official determination of the cause of the fire. That sounds about par for the course at Change.org and Facebook.
Here’s an idea: Give the iPhone, cord and charger to Apple to examine before you start demanding $600,000.