Armagh dad in deadly defect warning after phone bursts into flames
A Co Armagh man has warned of a potentially deadly defect in a Chinese-made smartphone after one spontaneously combusted in his home.
Paul Stewart (56) is still in shock after the Xiaomi device belonging to his son Gary (24) burst into flames on Saturday night.
The phone, which cost £220 and was bought new just five months ago through Amazon, wasn't being charged when it ignited.
Now the Lurgan family are warning others of the danger.
Paul, who is medically retired, said: "We had friends round on Saturday night when the smoke alarm went off.
"Gary was in his room and the phone was lying on his bed when all of a sudden sparks started to fly out of it.
"He lifted it just as it burst into flames and carried it into the bathroom sink. The house was full of toxic fumes.
"We were all shocked.
"I actually lay in bed the next day thinking how different the outcome could have been if it had happened when we were all asleep.
"There could have been fatalities and that's a scary thought, or if it had been left in the house during the day then the house could have burned down."
The phone was completely destroyed.
The family has contacted the company who sold the device and they said they are investigating the issue, but Mr Stewart believes they need to act now and recall all similar models.
He added: "It is a cheap smartphone so it is probably really popular with young people who can't afford to fork out hundreds of pounds.
"There is an obvious fault and the company really does need to recall them. People need to know the risks.
"The customer services department told us they would have to bring it to the attention of senior management but we haven't heard anything back yet."
Mi International, which manufactured the phone, said: "We take this issue extremely seriously and we're sorry that the customer experienced this.
"As such we're communicating with the customer at the moment to know more.
"Customer safety and quality is of paramount importance to us and we will continue to analyse the phone to ensure this is an isolated incident."