Charging cell phone starts fire in Painesville home: ‘It could have been in my face’

PAINESVILLE, Ohio--  A Samsung phone went up in flames, causing damage to a home in Northeast Ohio.

Painesville Fire Chief Mark Mlachak told Fox8 his investigators had probable cause to believe a Galaxy S7 Edge caught fire while charging inside a home at 409 South St. Clair.

Owner Danielle Boutilier said she noticed a problem with the phone overheating immediately after buying it in July. She said complaints to Samsung fell on deaf ears.

“I remember my heart hitting my stomach,” Boutilier told Fox8’s Lorrie Taylor as she recalled the sight of firetrucks outside her home as she drove onto her street September 19.

The mother of three said she’d forgotten to take the phone with her while shopping with a friend. She left it charging on a nightstand next to the bed where she slept.

“It could have been in my face,” she said of the fire that melted part of her mattress.

Two days later, the Painesville Fire Department was called to the home to fight a second fire that appeared to have started in the same location as the first. Chief Mlachak said the cause of that blaze was still under


Boutilier told Taylor the hole that burned through her bedroom wall on September 21 was directly behind the nightstand where her Samsung phone was left plugged in after the first fire. She said fire officials told her to leave everything as it was, including the phone, until her insurance company had an opportunity to conduct its own investigation.

Boutilier and her children are now living in a nearby hotel.

Samsung released the following statement to FOX 8:

"Our first concern is the safety of Ms. Boutilier. We are reaching out to her to ensure that we are doing everything we can to support her. We will conduct a thorough examination of the device once we receive it so that we can investigate the unique circumstances surrounding this incident. We encourage all Samsung customers to contact us directly at 1-800-SAMSUNG."