Cell phone overheats, fills Ward Center restaurant with smoke

Cell phone overheats; fills Ward Center restaurant with smoke
(Image: Lester Salazar)
(Image: Lester Salazar)
Lester Salazar (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Lester Salazar (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Bill Ogawa (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Bill Ogawa (Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Photos show what's left of a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 after it overheated and melted in a Honolulu restaurant Sunday night.

Lester Salazar said he was enjoying Mother's day dinner with his family at Ryan's Grill, when he reached for his phone to capture the moment.

"I reached for my backpack, pulled out my phone and kind of fumbled it and it fell on the floor," Salazar said.

The phone started smoldering as the stench of burning plastic filled the restaurant.

"The whole back of the phone was melted off," said Salazar.

Salazar believes an extended battery that he bought online was to blame. The manufacturer, Hyperion, states it has "an integrated microchip to prevent overcharging and overheating."

Turns out, this is just the latest in a string of Samsung-related battery issues.

"It's something that's very, very rare, but it can happen," said Bill Ogawa of Battery Bill's. "I think when he dropped the battery, it damaged the membrane in the battery, caused a short circuit and the battery ignited."

In a video provided by Battery Bill's, a cell phone's lithium battery goes up in smoke after it's smashed with a screwdriver and its contents are exposed to air.

Ogawa advises protecting your cell phone's battery with a sturdy case to help prevent a meltdown.

Salazar salvaged his Mother's Day celebration after a quick-thinking waiter took the phone outside and blasted it with a fire extinguisher.

"I'm not going to get an extended battery anytime soon," Salazar said.

No was hurt and the restaurant was not evacuated.

Hawaii News Now reached out to Hyperion but didn't immediately receive a response.

Salazar said the company has already refunded his money under a two-year warranty.

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