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iPhone explodes in man's pocket, lights pants on fire

ST. LOUIS (WFLA/KSDK) - A Missouri man received first and second-degree burns after his iPhone exploded during a Fourth of July celebration, according to KSDK, the NBC affiliate in St. Louis.

The man's mother tells KSDK her son's phone unexpectedly began to smoke and melt, causing his pants to light on fire.

"I just felt a sharp pain on my thigh," said 21-year-old Ronnie Moore, who was burned by his iPhone 6.

Moore says he threw his pants off and smoking pieces of his iPhone fell out of them.

"It was on the ground and it was just bubbling, there was smoke everywhere," said Moore.

Experts say there are a few things that can cause an iPhone to explode and they all have to do with the lithium battery. Charging your smart phone with a cheap cable, dropping or damaging the phone, and getting it wet are some of the things that can cause a phone to catch fire. The battery may swell before any combustion.

But Moore says none of those things preceded the incident, although his phone did stop charging hours earlier.

He was taken to the hospital to be treated for burns, and plans to file a complaint with Apple.

"I don't want another iPhone after this situation," said Moore.

In other cases around the country, smart phones have caught fire while charging, or under pillows, even thousands of feet above the ground on an airplane.

KSDK reached out to Apple for a comment and while they couldn't comment specifically on Ronnie's case, they say this is not a common occurrence. But there are dozens of documented cases around the country, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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