Metro-East News

Cell phone wrapped in plastic started car fire, Belleville fire department says

Belleville Car Fire

Belleville firefighters responded to a car on fire in a garage on Saturday. The fire was caused by a damaged cell phone battery, according to Belleville firefighters.
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Belleville firefighters responded to a car on fire in a garage on Saturday. The fire was caused by a damaged cell phone battery, according to Belleville firefighters.

A cell phone that had been run over and wrapped in plastic caused a car to catch fire in a Belleville garage on Saturday.

On Saturday, crews were called to a car on fire inside a garage on Dublin Boulevard at about 7:25 p.m., according to Fire Chief Tom Pour. After putting out the fire, firefighters discovered a damaged cell phone battery had caused the fire.

Earlier that day, the car's owner accidentally left the phone on top of the car before driving away. When the owner realized what happened, they drove back and saw the phone had been run over by a car, Pour said.

The owner wrapped the damaged phone in plastic and put it in the trunk while they drove to buy a new phone, Pour said.

"They didn't want to throw it in the trash, which they're right, you shouldn't do," Pour said. "They should be disposed of properly in a battery disposal and until you do that, you should put them in a noncombustible area, like a work bench, where it can't ignite."

Pour said while firefighters don't know exactly how the phone caught fire, but the battery may have shorted out and caught the plastic on fire.

"Batteries are very dangerous, you need to look at the precautions on them," he said.

Pour recommended anytime something out of the ordinary happens to a product, such as it is damaged or gets wet, people should look up the product online to safely take care of it.

Due to the fire, one person was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation, according to the Belleville Fire Department.

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