Texas man says water-damaged iPhone gave him 2nd-degree burns

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BySteve Campion KTRK logo
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Lake Jackson man burned by his iPhone
A Lake Jackson man told Eyewitness News his iPhone seared him and left him with a 2nd-degree burn.

LAKE JACKSON, Texas -- A Lake Jackson, Texas man says his iPhone seared him, leaving him with a second-degree burn after he fell asleep next to the water-damaged device.

The incident happened after he got the phone wet, dried it out using rice and then fell asleep with it in his bed, he said.

Luke Schilhab said on Saturday he accidentally got into a swimming pool with his iPhone 6s.

The phone was drenched and quickly turned off.

Schilhab decided to put his waterlogged iPhone in a container of rice. He assumed, like many of us, the rice would dry out the device.

Schilhab said by Sunday evening the iPhone would still not power on. Out of habit, he left it in his bed and fell asleep.

On Monday morning he suddenly woke up after rolling on top of the phone.

"I didn't even know what it was that burnt me right off the bat until I jumped up and turned on the light and looked over. It was my phone," said Schilhab.

Schilhab went to the doctor, who diagnosed him with a second-degree burn. He said you can see the lines from the top of the phone in the burn on his torso.

Schilhab said he filed a report with Apple at the Baybrook Mall store after purchasing a new iPhone Monday.

Apple has not yet responded to a request for comment.

One technology expert suggests that anyone who damages their iPhone take it to a professional as soon as possible.

Technology expert David Scarbrough, with Experimac in the Spring Branch, Texas area, offered tips for anyone with a damaged iPhone.

He said the idea that you can use rice to dry out the device is an internet myth. He said an expert can assess whether a phone can be saved.

Scarbrough also warned that batteries in smartphones can pose a safety risk if compromised by water.

"Water is the kryptonite of a phone. It does not react to water well," said Scarbrough. "The most important thing to remember when you get a phone wet is you have to get that battery disconnected as soon as possible. To do that, you have to bring it to us."