DEERFIELD BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A 9-year-old boy and his mother are speaking out, hours after, officials said, the boy’s cellphone battery caught fire during class, prompting an evacuation of his elementary school in Deerfield Beach.
Jamar Dean said he had a cellphone to stay in touch with his mother, Cassandra Pierce, but also to play games. “I like to play ‘Super City,’ ‘Pop Scene’ and wrestling,” he said.
But the third grader won’t be playing those games for a while, because as his principal told his mother, his Coolpad smartphone is no longer operational. “[The principal said] Jamar’s phone had exploded on him,” said Pierce.
Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue responded to the scene of the incident at Deerfield Park Elementary School, Tuesday morning. “Right around 10:20 a.m., we got the call of a cellphone battery on fire,” said Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesperson Mike Jachles. “When firefighters got there, we had a boy that sustained a very minor burn.”
Dean said he was in class when he heard the phone beeping. “I had to take my battery out, so I took my battery out, I put it in my desk, and I looked, and it had a little hole, and I had dropped it,” he said. “It started to sparkle.”
“It actually melted the linoleum in the floor area. It was pretty hot,” said Jachles. “Fortunately, he was not injured seriously.”
Dean only suffered a few minor burns to his right ankle, but the battery was charred.
“That must have been very, very traumatizing for him,” said Theo Brown, who came to the school to pick up a student.
Officials said the battery could have shorted out when it fell to the ground.
Officials evacuated the school as a precaution for about 20 minutes, until Broward Sheriff’s Fire Rescue issued an all clear, at around 11:08 a.m.
Dean was taken home by his parents. No one else was hurt.
“For it to catch fire in his pocket, it’s really sad,” said concerned parent Tess Martin. “It’s sad that we’re being informed by you guys.”
Fire Rescue officials said, to be safe, it is important to follow manufacturer’s recommendations and only buy batteries from the official manufacturer.
“It’s crazy. Products nowadays are just not safe in some of these cases,” said Brown.
“A lot of phones have been messing up lately,” said Anthony Brown, who also drove to the school to pick up a student. “I think, basically, they should start to look more into it, because that’s a third-grader.”
Pierce said it might take some time for her son to be ready for another Coolpad. “I guess, because of the experience that he has had, he’s probably nervous, but we’re gonna bypass it, right? ‘Cause we’re strong,” she said as she high-fived her son. “I’m just happy that my baby is [OK]. Everything turned out well.”
The Coolpad is an Android smartphone manufactured by a company based in China. 7News did not find any public reports suggesting any sort of pattern of problems with this phone like what happened to Dean at school.
Firefighters held on to the phone. State investigators will attempt to determine the exact cause of the fire.
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