Life flashed before their eyes for a kind Canadian couple. In a matter of hours, they went from enjoying a quiet life together to living on the street. And it all happened because their Apple iPhone started a house fire while it was charging. Phones have been known to cause fires. A simple search online yields dozens of videos of phones bursting into spontaneous fits of fire.
But often these flames just singe pants pockets or cause some second-degree burns.
Now, life will never be the same for this Canadian couple. The fire their Apple device caused burned their house down.
The fire started on October 13, 2016. And when investigators took a close look, they told Cathy and Ian Finley that their house burned down for one reason and one reason only – their Apple device overheated and burst into flames.
Cathy had been charging her iPhone 6. She left it plugged in and went outside to feed the family goats on the property in British Columbia.
About 20 minutes later, she noticed the smoke rising from her home. But when she tried to get inside to access the fire extinguisher, the flames had already consumed too much, and she couldn’t enter.
The assistant fire chief confirmed that “no other electrical or heating devices could have contributed” to the fire started by Apple’s flagship product.
“It would appear that the phone or charger generated enough heat to ignite the leather chair and notebook and start the fire,” an official said.
Cathy and Ian have since asked Apple to help them pay for the damages – because their product burned down their house.
Apple has refused to offer any help.
Cathy Finley recorded her phone call with Apple. She is heard saying: “It’s enough… It’s 17 months since the fire, and we cannot go on. We’re losing our property. We’ve lost our business. Our mental well-being is just in tatters.”
Their insurance gave them $600,000. But that was hardly enough for them to repair the damage, let alone return to life as normal. The pair also had to shut down their farm after the house fire – and that cost them even more money.
“To be clear, we have closed the farm business for now and borrowed enough money for us to finish rebuilding and stay here for one year,” the couple wrote in a change.org petition.
Under pressure, Apple has agreed to send an investigator. But they deny that there is enough proof the device was faulty – despite expert opinion.
“The cause of the fire is not in question. We have a fire report stating that. We started communicating with Apple by letter dated February 28, 2017,” the online petition reads. “We finally got to speak to someone after chasing them in July. Since then, we have asked them to look at the uninsured loss following the fire.”
The petition added, “After that, we have no option but to sell and leave if they do not help us. It is not ok that while they celebrate their tax breaks allowing them to bring in billions of dollars, we are losing everything.”
Should Apple help this desperate family?