Monday, July 14, 2014

Fire chief: Langhorne Manor woman burned after laptop explodes

Posted: Sunday, June 29, 2014 

A Langhorne Manor woman was seriously burned Sunday afternoon after her laptop computer exploded, according to a fire chief.
The unidentified woman was using her laptop in her Comly Avenue home when the battery pack inside exploded, sending debris 6 to 8 feet away, Langhorne-Middletown Fire Co. Chief Frank Farry said.
“It was like a little bomb went off,” Farry added.
The woman’s shirt caught fire, and she was burned on the face, arms, foot and chest, Farry said. He was not sure if the burns were chemical or heat related.
Farry did not know the model name or other information about the laptop.
The woman was able to extinguish the fire by dumping water on the computer, Farry said. The fire left a burn radius of about 5 feet by 5 feet, he added.
The woman was conscious and alert when she was transported to St. Mary Medical Center for treatment. Her condition was unknown as of Sunday night.
The remnants of the computer have been collected and an investigation is underway into why it malfunctioned, Farry said
Fires involving lithium-ion rechargable batteries found in electronic devices such as laptop computers are rare, according to online sources.
In 2006 millions of lithium-ion batteries manufactured by Sony, Apple and Dell products were recalled after several hundred overheated and a few caught fire, according to news reports.
Fire experts say problems can occur when a laptop is being used with a fully charged battery and being plugged in, according to online sources.

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