Roselly Rolon got her daughter, Alexis, an Apple iPhone 5C for peace of mind in case of an emergency. But the Northeast Philadelphia mother never expected the smartphone to be the source of trouble.
On Friday morning, however, the family claims just that happened. As the 12-year-old walked to school, she said the popular smartphone caught fire in the pocket of her pants.
"All I saw was smoke coming out and then it was my phone. So I threw it on the ground — my butt was, like, burning," the girl recalled.
Alexis heard a cracking sound coming from the phone before it caught fire, but she didn't realize anything was wrong until the smoke began to rise, she said.
"I took it out ... and I threw it on the ground and started stomping out the fire," she said.
The white phone's case was left disfigured, the metal charred and rippled. The device burned through the back pocket of Alexis' jeans and left the girl with second-degree burns, doctors at Nazareth Hospital determined.
"We depend on these phones. And the same phone that I'm depending on is gonna burn my daughter," Roselly Rolon, the girl's mother, said angrily. "Thank God it wasn't her face."
The girl said the phone had been problem-free before Friday's fire and that she charged it normally Thursday night.
Apple told NBC10 they can't comment because the Rolons haven't contacted them directly about the incident. The family says their attorney is reaching out to the tech giant.
This isn't the first time an iPhone owner claimed their phone combusted. A middle schooler in Maine suffered 2nd degree burns in January 2014 after she said her iPhone 5C caught fire in her pocket. An Arizona man also suffered similar burns after he said an iPhone 6 went up in flames in his pocket last October.
Despite the pain inflicted by the device, Alexis isn't shying away from the smartphone. "I like the iPhone, but I don't want that one anymore. I want a different one," she said.