Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cell Phone Fire

Not that I needed another reason not to get a cell phone, but this one is especially odd.
The man, Luis Picaso, 59, suffered second and third degree burns over 60% of his body, including his upper torso and arms, in the fire late Saturday night, said the investigator, Bill Tweedy at the Vallejo Fire Department in an interview today. The victim was listed in critical condition this morning at the University of California at Davis Medical Center, a spokeswoman said.
Tweedy said a thorough investigation showed nothing else in the bathroom could have ignited the fire, such as matches or a lighter. "The only thing that was a power source was the cell phone," Tweedy said.

Tweedy said it was a "pretty new cell phone" that was just a voice device, and not a smart phone. He refused to disclose the brand, saying it was not the kind of accident that would necessitate a manufacturer's recall.

"I think it was just a malfunction," Tweedy explained. "The phone was in his pants pocket and he was leaning against a chair asleep, so one button was depressed. That meant power was going through the phone, and the phone overheated."

It didn't help that the victim's pants were a polyester blend, which caught fire and then ignited his nylon shirt and jacket, Tweedy said. The fire spread from the victim to the plastic chair he was seated on, and the flame and heat from the chair set off the sprinkler.

You'd have thought that someone would have designed the phone not to be able to do such a thing. Especially considering that a cell phone is most commonly carried in a pocket where a key could be depressed for an extended period.

Of course, the polyester clothes sets off alarm bells on this one. Do people really wear that much plastic?

I know the guys at work call me a luddite for not having a cell phone, but if this is the cutting edge of the technology, I guess I'll be avoiding it for a while longer.

1 comment:

BobG said...

I finally broke down and got one a couple of years ago (for medical reasons), but I keep the damn thing turned off unless I am actually going to make a call. When I am done, I turn it off. I don't believe in wearing a leash...