Phone left charging overnight sparks fire inside Beverly home

BEVERLY, Mass. — A phone that was left charging overnight inside a Beverly kitchen burst into flames, giving a retired couple the scare of their lives.

Giuseppe Vaccaro and his wife were sound asleep when their smoke detectors began ringing.

“She runs up the stairs [saying], ‘You’ve got to get up, the house is on fire,’ I said, ‘What?’” Vaccaro said. “It was her phone that caused the whole thing.”

Vaccaro’s wife’s iPhone 7 had been charging in the kitchen when it caught fire in the middle of the night. She had been sleeping on the couch when the smoke detectors went off, running up the stairs to alert her husband who had been in the upstairs bedroom and didn’t hear the alarms.

“I don’t hear very well, my door is about two feet from the alarm and I didn’t hear it," Vaccaro said. “This is an old house. If it goes up, it’s going to go up like a cracker box."

Thanks to a new fire extinguisher that had been gifted to the couple, Vaccaro was able to put out the fire before it became a bigger issue.

“We just got it from my daughter for Christmas it’s so ironic it’s unbelievable," Vaccaro said. “The phone usually gets hot anyways, but she had a piece of Kleenex underneath and it got so hot it just [went up in flames]."

While fire officials work to determine exactly what caused the fire to start, they’re warning people not to overcharge their devices and to avoid putting them on combustible surfaces.

“Kids nowadays, young kids, they have cellphones. If they fall asleep with that next to their pillow they’re going to be toast,” Vaccaro said.

Fire investigators say they’re still working to figure out for certain if the source of this fire was the phone, the charger or the outlet.

Even though the fire was put out quickly, it caused quite a bit of smoke damage throughout the house, so, for now, the Vaccaros are staying at a hotel.