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Conn. resident injured after cellphone battery starts ‘violently burning’

Warehouse Point firefighters are using the incident to notify the public of the dangers that can be involved with lithium batteries.


Photo/Warehouse Point Fire Department

By Justin Muszynski
Hartford Courant

EAST WINDSOR, Conn. — One person suffered burns after a cellphone battery caught fire in an East Windsor apartment building on Tuesday night.

The Carousel Apartments on Pleasant Street were evacuated at about 9:40 p.m. after the damaged battery began “violently burning” on the hardwood floor of one of the units, triggering the building’s fire alarm, according to the Warehouse Point Fire Department.

Firefighters from the Broad Brook and Warehouse Point fire departments who responded noticed smoke conditions on the first floor of the building, fire officials said. The fire was extinguished shortly after firefighters arrived.

One person who suffered hand burns was treated at the scene, according to firefighters.

Residents were allowed to return to their apartments after the building was ventilated.

Firefighters are using the incident to notify the public of the dangers that can be involved with lithium batteries which are often found in cell phones, laptops, electric toothbrushes, vaping devices and other common items.

“We’ve been seeing more issues with lithium batteries,” said James Barton, chief of the Warehouse Point Fire Department. “These batteries are becoming an issue for us.”

Firefighters have had issues in the past with lithium batteries catching fire at recycling centers, Barton said. In a recent instance, he continued, the battery to a vaping device began burning.

“They’re pretty dangerous if you don’t use the proper charger or they become damaged,” Barton said.

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