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Student treated for burns after iPhone 5C catches fire in pocket

A 13-year-old Maine eighth grader on Friday was treated at a local hospital for burns she suffered after her iPhone 5C caught fire in her back pants pocket.

According to Middle School of the Kennebunks Principal Jeff Rodman, the teen arrived at her first class at 7:40 am, and "heard a pop" when she sat down; other students reportedly immediately seeing smoke coming from her rear.

Her first reaction, Rodman told Seacoast Online, was to "stop, drop, and roll," and remove her pants. Assisted by peers and teachers, the girl was treated first by emergency crews, then at a local hospital, where her burns were described as "moderate." Together, the students' and teachers' quick thinking saved her from further burns or injury, according to Rodman.

The phone, pictured above, was visibly burned; no official cause of the fire has been revealed. EMS Division Chief Andrew Palmeri, however, told Seacoast Online that when the teen sat down on her phone, the handset's battery "shorted out," causing a spark and the fire.

Palmeri warned all phone users to be wary of placing their device in a back pocket or anywhere else it could be crushed and cause an electrical short.

Apple did not immediately respond to ITProPortal's request for comment.

This isn't the first smartphone fire incident. In late 2011, Best Buy recalled a Rocketfish battery case for iPhone 3G and 3GS models, for fear that the inner battery could overheat and pose a fire risk.

Last year, a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone burst into flames, burning down a Hong Kong couple's home. Cell phone safety is an increasing concern in Asia, particularly, where two cases of iPhone shock occurred within a week of each other in July.

The plastic iPhone 5C was released in September for £469 (16GB) or £549 (32GB), and comes in a variety of colour options.