Man's smartphone catches fire in his pants at Puyallup Costco

by: Natasha Chen Updated:

PUYALLUP, Wash. - A man had to take off his pants inside a Costco when his smart phone caught fire in his pocket.

A witness told KIRO 7 smoke filled the hardware aisle early this afternoon.

“He had taken the pants off and tied the jacket around his waist. And I thought that was unusual, and I looked down, and then there was what looked like to be what’s left of a cell phone,” said Everett Tyrrell, who had gone to Costco Thursday afternoon.

The Costco warehouse manager said his employee rushed over with a fire extinguisher but did not need to use it. The phone was no longer on fire, but it was in pieces and had left a burn mark on the floor.

The man was not injured, and they did not need to call 911.

Tyrrell took some photos of the phone, which the owner said was an LG smart phone. He said the phone was barely recognizable, and smoke had billowed through the hardware aisle.

“That was very weird to me. I’d never seen anything like that in my life. It’s amazing how much heat must have been generated to cause all that smoke from that small item,” Tyrrell said.

A woman who said she works for this Costco posted a few photos of her own on Facebook, showing the burned phone in a box.

Costco staff gave the man a new pair of pants.

KIRO 7 has reached out to LG to see if there have been similar reports of their phones catching fire elsewhere. There are currently no recalls posted on the company’s website related to mobile phones.