Bloke left with third degree burns after phone battery explodes in his pocket

An air conditioning installer from Melbourne suffered a terrifying experience after a battery pack exploded in his pocket, leaving him with serious injuries.

In an interview with A Current Affair's Sam Cucchiara, Matthew said: "It was like someone holding a cast iron kettle straight from the stove and placing it directly on your knee for a long time."

The explosion occurred two weeks ago while Matthew was climbing a ladder with his phone being charged by a power bank in his pocket.

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Suddenly, he heard a hissing sound and saw fire shooting up at his face, reports the Mail.

He stepped off the ladder and looked down, realising that he was in serious danger.

"I thought that I was definitely going to die," he said.

"My whole body is going to catch on fire, and then I'm just going to burn alive."

Matthew managed to drive himself to a nearby restaurant, where he called for a cab to take him to the hospital.

"The first taxi cancelled. I called an Uber, and the driver refused to let me get in his car," he said.

"I'm not really afraid of death, but I just didn't want to die at that moment – alone in a warehouse at night."

Matthew is now being treated at the Helen Macpherson Smith Burns Unit in The Alfred hospital in Melbourne, where he faces a long road to recovery.

He had skin grafted from his right leg to cover his wounds on his left leg and left hand to heal his third-degree burns.

According to Tony Carbon, a lawyer representing Matthew, he has four cases going to court involving iPhones catching on fire when clients had them on their person.

"We've several cases, including a lady whose house burned down because of her phone that caught on fire," he said.

Lithium-ion batteries, which are often used in phones, power banks, e-scooters and e-bikes, store a huge amount of energy in a very small space, making them much more powerful than other types of batteries.

However, a blaze or explosion can occur if a battery is damaged, overheated or overcharged.

Michelle Young, deputy commissioner from Fire Rescue Victoria, has warned members of the public to be vigilant with lithium-ion batteries, saying: "They are quite reactive and explosive when those fires take hold. This is an emerging trend – it isn't going away."

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