Aftermarket phone products raised heated concerns - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Aftermarket phone products raised heated concerns

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Aftermarket phone products raise burning questions. Aftermarket phone products raise burning questions.
ROCKY HILL, CT (WFSB) -

There were scary moments for a teenager when her cell phone caught fire after it slipped under her pillow while she was sleeping.

Like many teens, 13-year-old Ariel Tolfree of Texas had fallen asleep with her phone at her side one night.

Her Galaxy S4 dropped under her pillow, overheated and then the battery swelled, causing the pillow and bed to smolder.

"I think this is a concern that parents of younger children should definitely worry about," Stephanie Almada of Newington said.

Tolfree was not harmed, but it has raised concerns among millions who have cell phones.

"It does make me a little nervous," said Trevon Chin, of East Hartford.

Samsung said that some aftermarket parts, not original to the phone, could be to blame.

These parts are made by a separate company, not associated with the phone's manufacturer, and may not be crafted with the same standards.

Mike Ciaburri, a Rocky Hill Verizon store manager, said he has seen cheap aftermarket parts destroy phones and sometimes even burn people.

"There was unauthorized products being used in the phone. So the battery was not a Samsung, and the charger she was using was not a Samsung," Ciaburri said.

One customer of the Verizon store said they regretted not spending a few more dollars for an authorized product after the aftermarket phone charger burned.

"You kind of get what you pay for," Ciaburri said.

Samsung said the owner's manual warns customers not to cover the phone with bedding since the lack of ventilation could cause the product to overheat.

"I'm sure it's in the warnings but no one ever pays attention to that kind of stuff," Chin added.

Ciaburri said he warns people that when it comes to electronics it is important to follow the manufacturer's guidelines and beware of what you buy.

"It's very dangerous. It doesn't seem like it is but it can end up causing a lot of issues for people and phones," he added.

As for Tolfree, Samsung has agreed to pay for a new phone and bedding.

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