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Teen's Samsung Galaxy Bursts Into Flames After Slipping Under Her Pillow

A Samsung spokesperson replied that they specify in their user manual that smothering the phone could cause a fire.

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A 13-year-old Texas girl was jolted awake recently when her Samsung Galaxy S4 had caught on fire after it slipped beneath her pillow, KDFW reports.

Ariel Tolfree said a burning smell woke up her in the middle of the night.

"I didn't think much of it, so I went back to sleep, and then I woke up again and it was more prominent," she told KDFW.


Ariel's dad, Thomas, said he believed the phone overheated and has now become unrecognizable.

"The whole phone melted," said her dad, Thomas. "The plastic, the glass. You can't even really tell that it was a phone."

But Samsung says their products are safe and that the teen was to blame. A spokesperson said the user guide specifies not to let the phone be smothered with bedding, which "could restrict airflow and cause a fire."

They also pointed out that the phone's battery was a replacement unit, and not an original unit from their company.


But the teen and her dad said they were unaware of that warning.

"If anything, they should put a big warning on it, like a cigarette label, if that's the case," Thomas said.

Samsung requested to see the burned phone so they can investigate the fire, and said they will replace Ariel's phone, bedding, mattress, and pillow.

Rachel Zarrell is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Rachel Zarrell at

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