Polk County man's laptop bursts into flames - WFLA News Channel 8

Polk County man's laptop bursts into flames

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Bobby McCue sat in his office at American Lube Express in Auburndale early in March and watched in shock as his laptop burst into flames.

"It was kind of surreal. Everything went silent for five seconds," McCue said. "Then adrenaline takes over and you just start reacting."

A security camera in the corner of his office caught the hole thing. The tape reveals McCue and his assistant manager, sitting at his desk having a work meeting. After a few seconds, smoke starts coming out the side of the computer, and then flames starting shooting up a foot in the air.

McCue's assistant manager grabbed a fire extinguisher, and after two attempts, was able to out it out. The battery turned to ashes and the computer is black and melted.

McCue said he had the computer for four years, but the battery inside was only two years old. He purchased it from Interstate Batteries in Lakeland. He took the company his proof of purchase and the video, asking them to replace his laptop.

"There was no empathy to what happened," said McCue. "There was nobody being proactive. It was me pushing the ball down the field."

McCue said the company didn't get back to him, so he decided to call Newschannel 8's 8 On Your Side unit. Interstate Batteries then agreed to replace his computer.

Owner David Gigowski had three words for McCue's situation.

"Amazing, scary, concerning," he said.

Gigowski said he's never seen a laptop battery ignite like that. The company plans on analyzing McCue's laptop and battery to see if the problem can be determined.

"The whole computer, the battery compartment and the extension cord to charge it are all going to be analyzed by an independent lab to try and figure out exactly what happened," Gigowski said.

He said consumers should always keep be aware of their heat of their laptop. If the battery seems to be getting too hot, he suggested getting it checked out. Gigowski also said consumers should follow the instructions to condition a new battery, so that it works properly.

McCue said he feels satisfied the company finally replaced his computer.

"At the end of the day, they did what was right," said McCue, "which is to own the problem."

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