An 11-year-old boy has been left feeling distressed and anxious after a Samsung tablet burnt a hole in his bed while he slept.
Callum Hewkin had taken the gadget into his room so he could watch a programme in bed and had fallen asleep with the device next to him.
His parents awoke the next morning to find his room full of smoke and a big burn mark where the youngster’s head had been.
Now his parents, Amy and Stewart Hewkin have spoken out about the terrifying ordeal, which fire crews said could have been fatal for the whole family.
Mrs Hewkin, 33, was woken by her son last Thursday morning, who believed his tablet was stuck to the bed, and with her husband, Mr Hewkin, 32, entered his room to discover the tablet – which was minutes away from catching fire.
The couple from Staffordshire said the tablet had left a melted hole in his bedding and mattress to the metal springs.
They highlighted they had no idea their son had snuck the four-year-old gadget into his room after they went to bed, leaving it on charge for up to nine hours, as they enforce a strict no electricals at night rule.
Assistant manager Mr Hewkin said: ‘The last thing anyone wants is to wake up and find their child seriously injured or dead because a tablet or phone has set fire in their room.
‘We feel like we’ve had a lucky escape – Callum’s life could have been at risk.
‘We had no idea he even had his tablet in his room, he had snuck it into bed with him because he wanted to watch something in bed.’
Mr Hewkin added that when he came downstairs in the morning he thought he could smell burning plastics, but put it down to the fact that the family lives so close to factories in the area.
‘But the next minute I could hear my wife screaming to come upstairs.
‘I went into Callum’s room and there was a big burn mark right by where his head had been, and the room was full of white smoke.
‘We have no idea how he didn’t wake up but it goes to show how serious it could have been.
‘I was gobsmacked, I never thought it would happen to us or that something like that even could happen – you don’t expect an iPad or tablet to just start burning like that.’
Despite the heavy smoke in Callum’s room, his bedroom door had stopped any of the family’s smoke alarms from sounding, meaning they were not alerted to the smouldering tablet until he woke up.
Fire crews told Mr Hewkin had the gadget been left for another 10 minutes, it could have started a serious blaze which could even have been fatal for the whole family.
Callum, who was using the original charger with his device, has been left feeling stressed and anxious at school following the ordeal but miraculously escaped uninjured.
The tablet’s charger and cable were still in perfect condition, with the burn marks contained to the battery area.
Now Mr Hewkin has urged other parents to do another check on their kids to make sure they don’t have their tablets or phones with them in bed.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have also issued a warning urging people never to leave items to charge on potentially flammable surfaces.
Mr Hewkin added: ‘We went to bed the next night and we didn’t put our phones on charge or anything, we turned off all the plugs by the wall.
‘We were terrified it could happen again. The plug and cable were still in perfect condition and it can’t be our home’s electrics because they didn’t trip.
‘How could this not be a faulty tablet, when the battery itself has basically exploded?
‘It is quite terrifying.’
This is while Mrs Hewkin added that people need to be more aware of the dangers of electrical equipment.
‘What has happened is mortifying, but we just want the awareness there.
‘So many people put their phones on charge under their pillows every night without realising the risks.
‘I am disappointed Callum took the tablet, but even if we had popped our head round the door to see what he was doing we might not have seen it and been able to prevent this as it was under the covers.
‘When people buy electricals there should be more safety information provided by companies like Samsung and Apple to prevent these dangers.’