In a rather bizarre turn of events, a UK family claims that a BlackBerry Curve 9320 burst into flames, injuring their 11-year-old son named Kian McCreath. The device erupted in flames along with the boy’s bed where it was resting, thus destroying the Curve and burning the boy’s legs.
While the validity of this story is still under dispute, it is possible that it actually happened. Though, I will go out on a limb here and say there’s probably more to it than what the family is letting on. There have been plenty of stories in the past of this kind of thing happening to cheap knock-off models and off-brand batteries.
The Belfast Telegraph interviewed the boy’s mother, Sarah McCreath, who gave a full testimony of the event. Apparently, she unplugged the phone, which had been charging for some time, and then left it on Kian’s bed to go make some tea.
That darn tea!
‘Then I Heard a Really Loud Pop’
“I thought nothing of it,” she said. “[I] made a cup of tea, then I heard a really loud ‘pop’ sound. Kian started screaming at the top of his voice, shouting ‘My bed’s on fire!’.”
In response to the detrimental event, the McCreath family is now calling for the model to be recalled and removed from stores.
Research In Motion is currently investigating the incident, seemingly waiting for the family to deliver the product in question. If it is an after-market battery or something of the sort, we’ll know when RIM gets their hands on the device, that is only IF the family hands it over.
According to the Belfast Telegraph, the phone was purchased at a local Vodafone store in Birmingham. Vodafone has yet to speak on this strange matter, but a spokeswoman has reached out to the boy’s family in order to offer a replacement device, should they want it. There’s been utterly no mention of a Curve 9320 removal from store shelves.
What RIM Has to Say
RIM made their own statements about the incident, reassuring everyone that their certainly interested in preserving the safety of their consumers.
“RIM takes claims of this nature very seriously and a senior member of our team met with the family today to initiate a full investigation into this matter. In order to proceed with this investigation, we require the products that were involved in this incident to be made available for a full technical review.”
“At this point in time, the family has not provided RIM with the battery or charger for analysis and have said they are unable to locate the device itself. We have a team on standby to conduct this investigation as a priority as soon as the family makes these products available to us.”
“RIM is committed to ensuring our products are safe, and we invest significantly in R&D and testing to ensure we meet or exceed all regulatory standards here in the UK and around the world.”
The Burning Blackberry – Fact or Fiction
While I’m not necessarily saying that this story is not true, because there is a very real possibility it could be, I am going to say that it’s a bit dodgy that the family has yet to hand over the remnants of the charred device. It is possible the family threw out the remains, but if it were me making a claim such as this, I would have kept them for evidence.
It’s only natural to provide evidence for a claim such as this one, especially one so peculiar.
Hopefully RIM releases more details on the issue once its completed a thorough investigation. Personally, I’m interested in seeing what is going to happen if the family never does turn over the ruined device. How will RIM treat the event?
In a case like this, the customer certainly always comes first. Which brings to mind a question, should RIM give this family the benefit of the doubt even without formal evidence, or should they turn their back on the family and treat this episode like it never actually happened?
Sound off with your opinion on the matter in the comments below!