His Pocket Grew Hot

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A cell phone in the front pocket of a man's pants spontaneously combusted, quickly ignited his clothes and left the man with second- and third-degree burns across at least half his body, according to investigators.

Luis Picaso, 59, was apparently sleeping on a white, all-plastic lawn chair in his room Saturday night and was awakened as he as ablaze, said Vallejo, Calif., Fire Department investigator and spokesman Bill Tweedy. . . .

"There were no matches," Tweedy said. "There were no lighters. He wasn't smoking. The only source was the phone that was in his pocket. I know he didn't spontaneously combust."

Tweedy declined to name the manufacturer or model of the phone.

-- "Man Badly Burned after Cell Phone in Pocket Spontaneously Combusts," Minneapolis Star-Tribune, January 16, 2007.

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