When Linda Duvall's husband was admitted to the hospital in February, she stayed by his side and wasn't leaving him alone.
Duvall spent hours on her Galaxy Note 4 cellphone updating family and friends on his condition.
“We'd had two deaths in the family that week and I thought I needed my phone,” she said. “So I plugged it in and I laid it on my leg.”
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In a matter of seconds, she said she heard one big pop and realized the phone exploded. Her knee jerk reaction landed the phone at the bottom of purse.
“It was smoking real bad and the smell was awful,” she said.
Duvall said the smoke spread throughout the hospital hallways.
“They ran and closed all the hospital doors up and down the hallway and shut off our wing. They got masks and put on myself and my husband,” she explained. “By that time there were 10 or 15 firemen and security and nurses.”
It's not the first time Duvall has had problems with her Galaxy Note 4. The charging port went out on her first phone, so AT&T sent her a refurbished one.
“I activated it on Friday and it exploded on Tuesday," she said. "It was a Note 4, which is not supposed to explode.”
We reached out to Samsung to find out if the company has received any reports of the Galaxy Note 4 overheating, exploding or catching fire. That question wasn't answered, but Samsung said:
“We have reached out to Ms. Duvall to provide support and have resolved the matter to her satisfaction. We are working with AT&T to look into what happened in this instance."
According to its website, the Consumer Product Safety Commission hasn't received any reports regarding the Galaxy Note 4. We did find one report from WXYZ-TV in Detroit, where a man said his Galaxy Note 4 exploded while he was sleeping, sending him to the hospital.
Per Samsung's request, Duvall shipped the phone to the company to evaluate the device. We then reached out to AT&T.
“Safety is a top priority for us. We’re working with the customer to satisfy her concerns and we’re glad she’s still a customer of ours. We have a process in place to quickly resolve customer issues. We’re working to re-educate the individuals involved here.”
The company has since credited her bill for February and March and sent her a brand new cellphone.
But Duvall hasn't opened the box yet because she's still skeptical about Samsung Galaxy Note 4s.
“It makes me wonder if mine can explode, how many of the others can explode,” she said.
Samsung has received Duvall’s phone and NBC 5 is hoping to learn more about what happened with the device. The customer is now working with AT&T to get an iPhone.
With so many devices using lithium-ion batteries, here are Samantha Chatman’s solutions:
- Charge your devices on a hard surface, not a sofa or bed, which can trap heat.
- If you notice your device gets hot when you charge it, try taking it out of the case. Cases can sometimes generate heat as well.
- Contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission if you’re concerned about your device.