BlackBerry Curve 9320 allegedly explodes and sets fire to bed

UK Curve 9320
By Adam Zeis on 5 Dec 2012 11:28 am EST

In the WTF news of the day, a family in the UK is claiming that a new BlackBerry Curve 9320 allegedly exploded and set fire to a bed. 11 year-old Kian McCreath says the Curve 9320 exploded and set fire to his bed, leaving burns on his legs. The device was reportedly removed from the charger and placed on the bed before it "exploded" and burst into flames. Kian and his family are looking for RIM to recall the device. 

We've heard plenty of stories like this in the past, and given the amount of BlackBerry devices that haven't exploded, take it for what it's worth. The root cause is most likely another issue like a bad/knock-off battery and not the device itself.

Regardless, RIM has this to say:

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.

What do you think? Have you ever had a device "explode" before? Sound off in the comments and hit up the forums for more discussion.

Discuss more in the CrackBerry forums 

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

BlackBerry Curve 9320 allegedly explodes and sets fire to bed


ya, the account on `the sun` website is completely different with what `daily mail` website ran with, like totally different events that oppose each other.

plus no phone given to RIM? obviously something bad has happened to the boy and thats not good, but it does seem very fishy

Unable to locate the device? Whats he holding in the picture????? Thats not a battery or charger. And if its something else it really isn't relevant to this story and proves my propaganda point even more so.

... He seems to have a burn on his leg...

But I agree this was iffy I said that in one of the threads about this... but got shouted down... now this statement seems to collaborate my reasoning.

If this really happened why can't they find the phone. If my phone exploded & was making a claim against the manufacturer, I would make sure not to "accidently" loose or throw out the offending device.

As a result, all we have is a alarming claim with no proof

The parents probably abused him, and burned him with an iron. Just like Janet Jackson got burnt on Good Times.

I suggest that children's aid get involved and put the parents in jail immediately. This kid is suffering at the hands of his parents.

Where are those batteries coming from ? There were well known cases of Chinese manufacturers skimping on battery separator materials, which causes batteries to sometimes catch fire. I saw it first hand at my work place once.

+1 Just a bunch of RIM haters trying to scam a fast buck.

Some smartphones can run hot if overcharged, and even then the smartphone's protection circuitry will shut it down before anything happens, but explode? No way.

Would LMAO when RIM verify's the story as bogus and the family gets slapped with a misrepresentation and slander lawsuit.
I’d rather be a Black Sheep than an iSheep any day.

How can you not locate a device that caused an explosion. Even with a knock-off battery, it won't explode unless it's charging. But why in the world would it be on the bed if it's charging? And most exploding batteries just leak (trust me, I've tried to short circuit batteries as a kid). I think this story is just awfully stupid. I think RIM should just counter sue for damage to reputation :) Not to mention that when something starts heating up and exploding, I would just leave it on my legs so it can burn me? LOL

The whole story smells of BS!

Can't wait to hear how this gets spun, probably be curves exploding all over the place after the blogs get a hold of this.

Let's not forget the most important thing from this story tho, Apple invented exploding phones.

I Bleed Black & Berry

Unfortunately the RIM haters will have a field day if true! But does sound mildly suspicious that they havent provided RIM with the 'evidence'

Until an independent Canadian lab does indepth testing on this phone, you can be 100% sure this is a bulls*it scam. Battery's can run hot if overcharged, but smartphones don't explode, specially one that's up to RIMS high standards.
I’d rather be a Black Sheep than an iSheep any day.

I believe stories of iPhones and SGIII's doing the same thing popped up too and people didn't even bat an eyelash.

But this is RIM so I expect the full MSM freak-out.

Bring it, "grannies"!

They also found a human finger in their Wendy's Chilli and forwarded an email 25 times so Bill Gates would send them a $100.00 cheque...
Just another family look for a quick buck and 15 minutes of fame in my opinion.
I believe there is a similar story on about someone falling asleep with a laptop in bed and it burning down the house. FAKE! FAKE! FAKE!
If they are looking for a lawsuit, as much as I love RIM, kinda the WORST company to try and get money out of right now ha ha ha! Maybe the kid should get an iPhone and state he drove off a bridge using apple maps, at least that's believable :)

"Maybe the kid should get an iPhone and state he drove off a bridge using apple maps, at least that's believable :)"

Yeah baby!

Actually, when I look at him all I can think of is the kid from the movie, The Omen, the original one with Gregory Peck....scary!!

The part of the story that is missing is: "The parents later found out that the child set fire to his own bed and he tried to blame the phone." At least that's what I'm expecting to hear.

In the "more likely department", it's a bunch of bullshiat intended to (a) hurt RIM for the hell of it, or (b) get a settlement through a fake "accident" lawsuit.

I'm absolutely flabbergasted at the total lack of common sense here. Really?!? Just because they haven’t provided the device in question to RIM, it must be BS? I know this site is populated by “yes-men”, but use your heads.

If this actually happened as reported (and I’m not saying it did, but “if”), then don’t you think they’d be considering a lawsuit? IF it happened to MY kid, and he had burns due to a faulty product, you could bet your behind that I’d be suing. Would I first provide my evidence to the very party that I intend on pursuing? Of course not. They’d get to see the evidence in trial, subject to the disclosure requirements of the particular jurisdiction.

Perhaps this is all BS…but I wouldn’t hang my hat on the fact that the family didn’t do something (providing their evidence to the “at fault” party) which only an idiot would do in any event.

The fact that RIM wants to look at the device for an investigation and not ONE part of the cellphone can now be located is the issue. The entire story is fabricated BS.

The kid held the phone for a picture, did Scotty beam it up to the Star Ship Enterprise and it vanished. Give me a break. Total BS story for some losers looking for cash.

Maybe they should tell the kid the battery contains toxic fumes, and it burnt his lungs from inhaling it. Gas would have escaped before any flames occurred.

How much did Apple pay this kid?

I frankly believe you're the one lacking in common sense. The police would have already been involved. The item in question would need to be examined by attorneys for both the Prosecutor and the Defence, and would need to be lab tested BEFORE the trial, should one be necessary. Even before the trial proper there would probably be several voir dires (which, in a lot of cases have publication bans). Anything that allegedly cause such an incident doesn't just disappear off the face of the earth where no one knows what happened to it.

It'll all come out in the wash.

I'll add that the "yes men" you're referring to have, for the most part, lambasted RIM for the foolish things they have done in the past, but we've moved on and are looking toward a brighter future.

Someone watches too much Law and Order. You refer to "voir dires", seemingly without understanding what such things are. Suffice it to say they are a "sometimes" sort of event in criminal matters, and rarely have any applicability in a civil matter (which is what product liability is...a civil matter). In any event, your assessment of how the process works is deeply flawed. Of course, I have only 15 years as a lawyer under my belt, so perhaps you're in on some secret that I don't know.

But I highly doubt it.

But the part of it that he didnt get wrong is that lawyers for both sides have to see any evidence being brought forth in a case, and that happens to be the most important fact here.

Like someone else said, there is a big difference between saying: "we cant find the evidence", and "the evidence will be turned over by our lawyers when they're done with it".. Maybe the fam is just stalling and their lawyer does have it but as you put it, I highly doubt it.

As crazy as this sounds I remained open minded before reading the article. With that said one thing that stuck out to me is how the mother not once but twice threw in there how she "took it off the charger" and placed it on the bed.

Now I'm seeing that the device can't be located for testing? They can't find it?

C'mon the boy is in a dozen pictures posing with the chard BlackBerry...I call bullshit.

Seems fishy to me.
No evidence? They cannot find it? Yeah ok, I will believe that... Not... There is a difference in saying the evidence is with my lawyer then saying oh I cannot find the evidence. 'Cannot find' in other words means it didn't happen but we are trying to get a quick buck from XYZ company.
People are so ridiculous.
Produce the evidence or GTFO.

This sounds like a stunt BGR would pull. I'm not surprised they can no longer find the device, battery, or charger....

Is that Jonathan Geller?

My BlackBerry PlayBook will explode on 22nd December and start the Rapture as prophesied by the Inca's and various religious people!!

I will have no leg to stand on as it will be burnt away!!

I am not religious, but isn't the Rapture a bad thing (end of the world and all)? In that case, we are on Crackberry! It is the iPad that will explode on 22nd December! :P

On a side note, if the PB does causes the end of the world then RIM will lose me as a customer.

The Myan calendar is supposed to end on December 21, 2012 actually and is said to be the end of the world. But that is just a load of crap cooked up by the media to sell newspapers. This is as much of a joke as Y2K was. Come December 22, 2012 it will be business as usual.
I’d rather be a Black Sheep than an iSheep any day.

"If the PB does causes the end of the world then RIM will lose me as a customer."
Awe come on now, if any smartphone actually were to survive the 2012 zombie apocalypse you know it would be a BlackBerry. (Even If there are no cell towers left for them to be used on)

This story smells like BS as the account changes depending which newspaper the family talked too... IMHO much ado about nothing.

As believable as it is that it COULD happen, after all this happened to laptops and other electronics of well known brands, it just doesn't seem like it DID happen as stated.

The battery was unplugged and not charging and then it just spontaneously combusted on the foot of the bed. I had batteries leak because of high humidity and "pop" because I was dumb enough to keep them in a bowl with change, but to catch on fire... like enough to char the device and burn down the bed? Obviously there was a fire, but it was probably a knock off battery, wrong charger, or just the fault of the kid, as parents are waaaay trusting of their kids these days..

Again, I wouldn't be surprise if this happened to RIM, as it can and does happen to other big name companies, but in this case.... well it is probably the fault of the user.

Agreed. I thought it looks much too small to be a curve, burnt or not.
I zoomed in on the pictures and it does look to have a circle like an iPod classic.

I find it odd that the burn is on his lower leg near his ankle. Did he fall asleep and the phone worked its way under the covers and exploded near his foot? I hate that someone is hurt but find the particulars suspicious.

Maybe the family were "unable" to locate the device because their lawyers have it? If I were them, I wouldn't hand over the very evidence I needed to win a case against the party I'm suing. But I also don't see any mention of anyone suing anyone. Just that the family would like RIM to recall this phone. Regardless of how it happened, it's still unfortunate that the kid got burns to his legs.

How is it that all roads lead back to Apple?

The story sounds bogus in my mind, but if I were so inclined to falsely accuse a company to get money, wouldn’t a Windows Phone be a better target? The phones aren’t selling that well and an exploding phone and associated negative press might lead to a quick payday.

What the hell is an 11 year old doing with a phone anyway!?!! All I had when I was that age was lego's, hot wheels, and baseball cards...

For me it was an old record player and a transistor radio, but I know what you mean.
I’d rather be a Black Sheep than an iSheep any day.

I am betting the battery. Someone, months ago mentioned really, really cheap batteries coming out of China. I warned about the problems they could cause in a post at the time. I have many years experience in Mobile, and can tell you they can cause a fire.

A battery costs about $50.00, a knockoff for $5.00. Is it really going to be the same battery at the component level? Really?


Definitely shady. You'd think if this was legit, the people would let the RIM reps have the device, battery and charger. RIM's pretty trustworthy so there's no need to think that they'd put together a false investigation. I agree that they probably used some cheap battery and/or charger. Those will definitely cause problems.

A smartphone exploding? C'mon!!! Sounds like a bunch of loser Blackberry haters trying to make a bulls*it lawsuit against RIM. I can see all the ambulance chaser lawyers now just drooling. Low life dirtbags.
I’d rather be a Black Sheep than an iSheep any day.

There's no way the device (whatever it is, probably not a Curve) would get this charred if it overheated under ambient conditions. It was baked in a very hot oven and this entire incident smells of a scam.

I used to work as an underwriter for a major insurer dealing mostly with commercial/industrial liability and property and we had more claims than you would think of regarding exploding devices. In each case, obviously, the circumstances were different, one I remember that resulted in a death was eerily similar to this one, there was one thing they ALL had in common; the phone was used while connected to a charger. And in nearly every case we saw the claimants always omitted this fact.

It's not true. The kid was smoking crack, dropped the ashes on the bed, next thing you know, the mattress is on fire.

This kid brought his game face. Seriously though I find it funny the charger and what not that RIM is looking for can't be found.

Hmmm it looks like about the size of an iphone... 3? (just kidding) Seriously though, the curve is more wide and not so tall. The keypad would keep it from going skinny. Whatever it is, I doubt it's a Blackberry.

But, maybe that's Yuri Geller's kid and instead of bending forks and spoons he explodes cellphones? I think that this is one of those made up urban legends.

Hmmm If he is holding up the remains of the phone why does it appear to have pointed corners when the bottom of the curve is rounded?

Not to pass judgement but the kid looks like Damian. If he doesn't win this case at the very least he can get a deal in movies being the devil child.

I do understand why they would be reluctant to turn over the device if they are making a product liability claim.

However, if that is an actual photo of the phone involved, it looks very suspect. I can see nothing in the picture that suggests that it was a Curve nor that it exploded. It is way to narrow to be a Curve. If it was one that had changed shape that much when it was hot it would probably have spread out more and be less rectangular. The center seems to have a resemblance to some of the Sandisk Sansa mp3 players' round control and nothing suggests a keypad of any kind was there.

Just my opinion...we need a (TV) CSI forensic analysis. ;-)