Student’s cell phone catches fire, causes all-school evacuation


Dallanara Sibrian

Bringing in fans, firefighters prepare to air out the burning plastic smell in the school caused by the cell phone that ignited.

Marcelino Morales, Managing Editor

The school halls were engulfed with smoke and the stench of burnt plastic on Oct. 17, and students were evacuated from the school. The cause for the alarm was the explosion of junior Ethan Shaw’s phone.

According to Principal Dr. Rony Ortega, Shaw was in his study hall at the time. His Motorola phone cracked, and his friend, sophomore Damian Dunn tried tinkering with the phone. Shaw then noticed smoke coming out of it. He then ran out of the classroom to the hallway, he placed his phone on the floor and then ran to the administrator’s office for help.

“I was very worried I was confused at the same time, like ‘what should I do, do I tell someone or just wait and see if it stops,'” Shaw said. “I felt bad because everyone got taken out of their classrooms. I felt nervous about the situation, but now I feel glad that it’s over. I wont know yet if I plan on suing, but I did call the phone company and I got a new phone for free, I got an iPhone.”

“I did not get hurt, but it did burn a hole through my shirt and I think I handled the situation well, the only thing I would go back and do is as soon as I saw the smoke act instead of waiting for it to get worse,” Shaw said.

Dunn regrets his reaction, but is glad the situation is over.

“It threw me off when the back blew off of it and I saw smoke and got freaked out, and I threw it and it flared up,” Dunn said. “I wish I would’ve ran with it instead of throwing it in panic. I feel like it [the situation] ended as good as it could have.”

Dr. Ortega is satisfied with how the students carried out the problem.

“The smart kids that we have here realized ‘hey if this is going to catch on fire, I better move it somewhere that doesn’t have carpet and cushions,” Ortega said. “We did investigate to make sure everything the kids said was actually true, because the last thing we want is for somebody to initially set on fire; based on everything we learned it was as they said it happened.”

According to How-To Geek phones can ignite due to multiple reasons like; leaving it in a car, using unreliable charging cables, bending or stabbing and even just due to bad manufacturing. Shaw’s phone cracked causing it to burn from the inside which means that phones aren’t toys and the fires caused from them have lead to injuries and even death.