An 11-year-old boy narrowlly escaped what would have been a tragedy after his Samsung tablet reportedly overheated and burned a hole in his bed, just inches from his face.
Mum Amy Hewkin, 33, said she was woken last Thursday by son Callum, who believed his tablet was stuck to his bed. Amy and husband Stewart, 32, claim when they found the tablet, it was minutes from catching fire and filled their son’s room with white smoke, leaving a melted hole in his bedding and mattress down to the metal springs.
The couple, from Burntwood, Staffordshire, said they enforce a strict no electricals at night rule. They had no idea their son had snuck the mobile device into his room after they went to bed, leaving it on charge for up to nine hours.
Stewart said: “The last thing anyone wants is to wake up and find their child seriously injured or dead because a tablet or phone has set fire in their room.
“We feel like we’ve had a lucky escape – Callum’s life could have been at risk. We had no idea he even had his tablet in his room, he had snuck it into bed with him because he wanted to watch something in bed.
“When I came downstairs in the morning at about 7am, I thought I could smell burning plastic and rubber but dismissed it as we live near factories. But the next minute I could hear my wife screaming to come upstairs. I went into Callum’s room and there was a big burn mark right by where his head had been, and the room was full of white smoke.
“We have no idea how he didn’t wake up but it goes to show how serious it could have been.‘I was gobsmacked, I never thought it would happen to us or that something like that even could happen – you don’t expect an iPad or tablet to just start burning like that.”
Despite the heavy smoke in Callum’s room, his bedroom door had stopped any of the family’s fire alarms from sounding, meaning they were not alerted to the smouldering tablet until he woke up.
Fire crews told Stewart had the gadget been left for another 10 minutes, it could have started a serious blaze which could even have been fatal for the whole family.
Callum, who was using the original charger with his device, has been left feeling stressed and anxious at school following the ordeal but miraculously escaped uninjured. Bizarrely, the tablet’s charger and cable were still in perfect condition, with the burn marks contained to the battery area.
Now Stewart has urged other parents to do another check on their kids to make sure they don’t have their tablets or phones with them in bed, Metro UK reports.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have also issued a warning urging people never to leave items to charge on potentially flammable surfaces.
Stewart said: “We went to bed the next night and we didn’t put our phones on charge or anything, we turned off all the plugs by the wall. We were terrified it could happen again. The plug and cable were still in perfect condition and it can’t be our home’s electrics because they didn’t trip. How could this not be a faulty tablet, when the battery itself has basically exploded? It is quite terrifying.”