Knock-off iPhone charger leaves man with burn, infection - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Knock-off iPhone charger leaves man with electrical burn, infection

Posted: Updated:

Cell phones are ubiquitous, but one Twin Cities man is warning that knock-off accessories could leave the budget-conscious in a world of hurt after the off-brand charger he bought online exploded.

Tim Tyrrell told Fox 9 News he was just trying to save some money when he turned to eBay to buy a second charger for his iPhone 5, but that search for savings ended up costing him more than he bargained for.

"It was just a pretty fast, quick jolt," he recalled.

The jolt that left Tyrrell with a serious electrical burn through his hand destroyed his discount charger, tripped the circuit breaker and put Tyrrell in the hospital for more than a week.

"Basically, the charger turned black and, it's where the USB cord connects to the outlet, had a little mini-explosion," Tyrrell explained. "It kind of bruised the fingers inside where I plugged it in."

Tyrrell still has the original charger that came with his phone, but just like the iPhone itself, the accessories aren't cheap.

"I got two wall chargers and a car charger for like, under $10 compared to the $25-30 you pay for an actual charger in the store," Tyrrell said.

The charger that burned out left a quarter-sized wound on Tyrrell's hand that later became infected -- and much more serious. It took three operations to tackle the infection, and Tyrrell's diabetes slowed his recovery while complicating matters.

Accidents like this aren't unique to iPhones either, and it's a problem Apple is well aware of. In fact, the company offered USB chargers at half price in exchange for knock offs last year to get counterfeits off the street. Additionally, those using iOS 7now get a warning message about unreliable accessories that aren't built to Apple's standards.

Tyrrell's father told Fox 9 News it was a tough lesson to learn, but he and his son don't want to see anyone get hurt in pursuit of saving a few bucks.

"Just be careful," Tyrrell urged. "I mean, obviously, I've been in here for a week and probably have to go in for my fourth operation tomorrow."

There have been several documented cases of similar explosions -- even electrocutions linked to counterfeit chargers; however, there are third-party accessories that are Apple-certified. The best advice when looking for off-brand merchandise is to ensure that it is built to the manufacturer's specifications.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 35 breathtaking views of Supercell clouds in Minnesota, Wisconsin

    35 breathtaking views of Supercell clouds in Minnesota, Wisconsin

    Sunday, July 27 2014 1:26 PM EDT2014-07-27 17:26:52 GMT
    Saturday night, North of the metro, a "Trail of Hail" made its way from Minnesota to Wisconsin. Large hail, some the size of tennis balls were reported in parts ofPolk County, WI. There were only a few storms but those storms were
    Saturday night, North of the metro, a "Trail of Hail" made its way from Minnesota to Wisconsin. Large hail, some the size of tennis balls were reported in parts of Polk County, WI. There were only a few storms but those storms were
  • Husband runs over wife in Minnetonka Beach, Minn.

    Husband runs over wife in Minnetonka Beach, Minn.

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:19 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:19:10 GMT
    Police say it probably was an accident, but a Minnesota man is in jail and may be charged with criminal vehicular homicide after he ran over his wife in the lakefront community of Minnetonka Beach.
    Police say it probably was an accident, but a Minnesota man is in jail and may be charged with criminal vehicular homicide after he ran over his wife in the lakefront community of Minnetonka Beach.
  • Judge to Ventura jury: 'If one more shot doesn't do it, we'll send you home'

    Ventura jury given 'one more shot' at unanimous verdict

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:08 PM EDT2014-07-28 20:08:14 GMT
    We’ve been talking a lot out the chance of a deadlocked jury in the Jesse Ventura defamation trial. Turns out that is indeed the case.
    We’ve been talking a lot out the chance of a deadlocked jury in the Jesse Ventura defamation trial. Turns out that is indeed the case.
Widgets Magazine
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices