Skip to main content

Minnesota boy burned when cellphone battery explodes


A male student at a Rochester middle school suffered burns at school this week after the cellphone he was carrying in his pocket exploded, the Rochester Post-Bulletin reports.

Frank B. Kellogg Middle School principal Dwight Jennings sent out an audio message to parents in the district after the incident Thursday, where, upon the explosion, the cellphone battery burned a hole in the boy's pants and burned his leg.

The battery also left burn mark on the floor, and the explosion left a lingering odor that could be smelled throughout the school. The principal advised parents to monitor their child for any effects from inhaling the smoke.

Children who were in the classroom where the cellphone exploded were evacuated from the area, and were allowed to return when the smoke cleared.

KARE 11 talked with a spokesman with the Consumer Products Safety Commission, who confirmed they've received reports before of cellphones exploding and sometimes catching on fire.

The explosions are caused by something called "thermal runaway," where a domino effect is created when a cellphone battery gets hot.

Experts with Clockwork Media Systems told KARE that a chemical reaction starts in the battery and it gets "hotter and hotter until gases escape or it explodes."

Although the cellphone explosions are rare, the CPSC suggests the following safety measures: Don't use chargers or batteries not designed to work with your cellphone and avoid knock-off brands; keep your cellphones away from excessive heat; and keep your cellphone battery's positive and negative connections from crossing.

A full list of safety measures can be found on the CPSC website.

See KARE's report below.

Next Up

Dalvin Cook

Report: Dalvin Cook has dislocated shoulder, will undergo MRI

The Vikings running back was carted off the field in Sunday's loss to the 49ers.

Kirk Cousins

Watch: Kirk Cousins lines up under guard on critical 4th down play

Kirk Cousins went "Full Kirk" at the worst possible time.

Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook injured, Vikings drop crucial game against 49ers

The Vikings couldn't stop the Niners' rushing attack in a 34-26 loss.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man airlifted to a hospital after police shooting in Forest Lake

Police allege that the man presented a threat to officers.

Minnesota Wild

Wild's two third-period goals take down the Lightning

Ryan Hartman's go-ahead goal defeated the two-time defending champions.

Byron Buxton

Reports: Twins reach extension with Byron Buxton

The long-term deal locks in one of the Twins' franchise players.

Justin Jefferson

Vikings-49ers: 5 things you can count on

Sunday's matchup is a pivotal game in the NFC playoff picture.

Gopher Football

Watch: Gophers troll Badgers with 'Jump Around' after Saturday's win

First they took Paul Bunyan's Axe. Then they took their tradition.

Brandon Richart, missing person

Search underway for missing man in Anoka area

Brandon Richart was last seen Nov. 17.

U.S. Bank Stadium

5 teams win first state championships at Prep Bowl

A pair of records fell as the Prep Bowl lived up to the hype.