Reports online are implicating a failed Samsung Galaxy S4 in an accident in Hong Kong. The Du family reportedly found the phone rapidly heating up before it started to burn. Throwing it away resulted in it sliding under the sofa, which then burned, and the spreading fire consumed their entire apartment. The family is fine, but blames Samsung, saying all the components of the phone, including the battery and charger, are Samsung originals.
While there is question about the validity of the family’s claims, with suspicion that the battery or perhaps charger may be knock-offs, there is precedent for this sort of accident.
Lithium battery mishaps do happen, and Sony was plagued with several scandals a few years ago when some manufacturing slip-ups resulted in overheating and expanding batteries, ending in fire. Some battery fires connected to overheating resulted in the recent grounding of Boeing’s 787 airliner. Recently Apple was in the headlines for electrocution accidents relating to third-party charger accessories for its iPhone.