‘Massive flames’ shooting out: Samsung Galaxy S5 user says his phone erupted in fire

“A Toronto man says he woke up to ‘massive flames shooting out the sides’ of his Samsung S5 phone on Tuesday morning,” Alexandra Sienkiewicz reports for CBC News.

“Mario Jakab went to bed around midnight on Tuesday, and woke up from the heat and firework-like sounds coming from his bedside table,” Sienkiewicz reports. “Samsung has recalled batteries on the Galaxy Note 7 models, after the devices started catching fire. The S5 model is not included in the recall. This appears to be one of the first reports of an S5 catching fire, though a lawsuit filed in the U.S. alleges the exploding phone problem extends to several other smartphones.”

“Jakab contacted Samsung Canada who sent a company engineer to pick up his phone on Wednesday morning. When asked if he had modified the phone, he told them the battery and charging cable were all originals that came with the phone he bought in 2014,” Sienkiewicz reports. “Jakab doesn’t want to think what would have happened if he didn’t wake up, or if the phone was in his pocket. He wants people to learn from what happened to him and protect themselves…”

MacDailyNews Take: Get a real iPhone.

Mario Jakab says the flames coming from his phone were somewhat contained because of the case, which also burned. (photo: CBC)
Mario Jakab says the flames coming from his phone were somewhat contained because of the case, which also burned. (photo: CBC)

 
“He also worries about children playing with Samsung phones,” Sienkiewicz reports. “‘Just a battery heating up can burn a young child’s hands, just from holding it,’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Stop supporting IP-trampling thieves.

If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone.

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[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Wayne” for the heads up.]

38 Comments

  1. I know that Samsung is {taking all the heat} right now, but it could just as easily have been Apple. Apple doesn’t make their own batteries. One batch of bad lithium ion batteries to Apple and all hell could break lose in a similar fashion.

    It makes you stop and think though. Every airline flight is a big old pressurized cabin full of about 100 potential firebombs.

    I hope they get past lithium ion soon.

          1. At first that is what I thought too, but after discussions with others we agreed that in order to contain the water there would have to be air flow possibly into a filter that would collect the vapor but then would reduce the efficiency of the fuel cell due to the increased air resistance as the filter becomes saturated.

            Another suggested a vacuum be created in the cartridge so it could be self contained but the problem with that was the manufacturing cost and QC would increase greatly.

            The conclusion we arrived at was that it would be too costly to self contain a fuel cell system to work inside an electronic device. Rather the fuel cell would have to be a separate charging unit to allow sufficient inflow of air and outflow of the water vapor.

      1. Pure Lithium, like Phosphorus, can catch fire (oxidize) in air, especially in presence of water/vapor.

        My understanding of Samsung Lithium-ion batteries is that the flammable electrolyte is what goes “up in smoke,” though I could be wrong on that.

          1. “but it could just as easily have been Apple”

            Invalid declaration.
            That would only be true if the battery is the ONLY factor in causing these fires AND if Apple uses the SAME BATTERIES from the same suppliers.

            And there are, I would guess, many factors that could contribute to fires such as overheating, or a short, or some kind of control circuit malfunction, etc.

            And re:
            Lithium ions, with electrons around = fire
            Actually, no. IONIC lithium is present in micro-organisms, plants, animals, minerals, seawater and fresh water.
            Pure METALLIC lithium is reactive for a metal – although nothing like as reactive as sodium or potassium.

            1. You can actually generate metallic lithium by adding electrons to ionic lithium. It’s called chemical reduction. These are presumably lithium-ion batteries.

              Metallic lithium does not naturally exist, precisely because it is so reactive. The same can be said of sodium and potassium, but lithium ignites on exposure to air.

      1. I heard it was due to not engineering in space for the battery to expand in the phone which lead to excessive internal pressure and eventual catastrophic battery failure.

        1. Again you’re incorrect. That was what they THOUGHT was wrong, but it wasn’t. When the redesigned “safe” phones were put back on sale with that exact problem fixed… they still blew up. So no, Samsung has no idea why their phones explode and neither does anyone else. The most likely explanation is a faulty voltage regulator, but again hasn’t been proven by anyone.

          1. How is my hearing of it make me incorrect? Yes, the fact was incorrect but unless you can show that there was not a point in time that others may have read a similar article and thought the exact same way, it in no way proves I was wrong about “hearing” about it. Are you really trying to find stuff that ‘proves’ I’m wrong?

            1. You’re parsing in order to seem like a victim. Fact is he reminded you the information you heard is wrong and you are spreading disinformation. ‘Tho in this “I feel” period we are living in, facts are apparently irrelevant as in, “I feel like climate change is a thoroughly contested theory.”, even though the science community would not agree. How can anyone argue about what you feel / heard on Facebook.

            2. I will agree with ‘feeling’ is hard to contest. The way you would reply is not “you’re wrong/incorrect” but “your information is wrong, this is why …”. The former can be taken as an attack, the latter as a correction with new information.

              As for my last sentence he and I have been having a rather frequent back and forth across several article comment sections.

            3. There’s really no popcorn to be had, and no I’m not ‘finding things to prove him wrong’ , I’m simply making the point as you made to him that he parses and makes an issue out of a sometimes missing specific or grammatical mistake with tense to try and make people look unintelligent, when the substance of his comment is incorrect.

          2. It appears alanaudio and Atlanta are under the same impression I am by their comments below. Would you post a link to cite your source of Samsung having fixed the engineering problem and the phone still blew up?

            1. Those are all theories, and reasoned guesses by those engineers there are in fact theee theories why the phones explode, but no one and not even Samsung knows why they do… the voltage regulator came from Ben heck who took one apart on his show. Here is a link describing what I’ve been telling you. And no, NO ONE knows why they blew up. Samsung released a new version with a green dot on the back to indicate it was safe, and then those also exlpoded (the last several incidents if memory serves) ….

              https://www.fastcompany.com/3064639/analyzed/samsung-note-7-battery-explosions-is-fast-charging-tech-to-blame

              https://www.cnet.com/news/two-more-replacement-galaxy-note-7s-explode-samsung-recall-kentucky-minnesota/

            2. Thank you for the links, after reading them both I see they still don’t explain why you say they fixed the engineering problem which I wrote dealt with the space for the battery being the problem, “engineering in space for the battery to expand in the phone”. The closest theory is theory two where charged plates were too close to each other. I believe the green dot ‘version’ was simply the re-release of the phone with ‘unaffected’ batteries and nothing to do with engineering a larger battery space.

    1. It’s generally accepted that the problem with the Samsung phones is not a fault with the battery itself, but is due to the battery being fitted into a space which is slightly too limited. If the battery expands slightly ( which is fairly normal ), there is no space for it to fill, so it increases the pressure on the internals of the battery, which in turn causes the battery to overheat and catch fire.

      Bottom line is that it’s not a fault with the battery, but a fault with the design of the phone containing that battery. It’s the sort of thing that can only happen to a manufacturer who doesn’t properly design and adequately test their new models, so I don’t accept that it could just as easily have happened to Apple.

    2. Actually, that’s not true. Engineers have taken apart Samsung phones and found that they violate basic engineering principles about how to integrate a battery into devices like phones. They don’t leave enough space between battery and other components, the battery touches parts of the phone that should never come in contact with a battery, etc. Apple wouldn’t do that. So, no, this could not have just as easily been Apple. You get what you pay for and most people aren’t paying a dime for these horrible phones.

    3. In general, TMac, you are correct. Any electronics company could be impacted by defective batteries. Apple has issued recalls/replacements in the past for defective batteries.

      In this particular case, however, my understanding is that Samsung *is* to blame because the fires are due, at least in part, to a design flaw that does not provide sufficient room to fully accommodate battery expansion during the charge/discharge cycle. My recollection is that Samsung provided only 1mm of space rather than 5mm in the G7 Note. Not sure about the G7 or G5, but it is instructive that photos or videos or news articles about burning iPhones are extremely rare. It isn’t just the batteries – the phone design and software is important, too.

      1. Those are all theories, and reasoned guesses by those engineers there are in fact theee theories why the phones explode, but no one and not even Samsung knows why they do… the voltage regulator came from Ben heck who took one apart on his show. Here is a link describing what I’ve been telling you. And no, NO ONE knows why they blew up. Samsung released a new version with a green dot on the back to indicate it was safe, and then those also exlpoded (the last several incidents if memory serves) ….

        https://www.fastcompany.com/3064639/analyzed/samsung-note-7-battery-explosions-is-fast-charging-tech-to-blame

        https://www.cnet.com/news/two-more-replacement-galaxy-note-7s-explode-samsung-recall-kentucky-minnesota/

      2. According to VoR and others, the information that I read about the expansion space issue has been disproven.

        However, the spirit of my post still applies. It is instructive that photos or videos or news articles about burning iPhones are extremely rare. It isn’t just the batteries – the phone hardware and software design, inspection, integration, and QC/testing process are all critical to the reliability and robustness of the end device. Apple takes the time and applies the attention and resources necessary to consistently deliver quality products (and still occasionally falls short of that goal). Other manufacturers sometimes cut corners, it appears, and the results can be terrible.

    4. That’s not an excuse. With the Note 7 reports were saying it wasn’t the battery itself it was the way Samsung designed the phone and battery casing around the battery that caused the fires etc.

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