Recap: While we still hear the occasional report of smartphones catching fire due to faulty lithium-ion batteries, the same incidents occurring in laptops are rare. But they do sometimes happen, as one MacBook Pro owner who videoed his device emitting plumes of smoke will testify.
White Panda, a music producer/DJ, tweeted a video showing his MacBook Pro belching smoke and damaging the wooden floorboards of his home. He says the incident occurred during "normal use" while the laptop was plugged in (using an Apple charger) and on his lap. It "suddenly started to spew smoke out both sides," at which point he "placed it on the floor where it popped, the smoke increased, and it caught fire," setting off the house's smoke and CO alarms. He was able to remove it to the porch using gloves.
My MacBook Pro exploded today during normal use. No injuries, luckily. Some damage to the house. Could have been worse - good thing I wasn't on a plane.--- White Panda (@whitepanda) May 29, 2019
Very curious to see how @Apple responds.@MacRumors @TechCrunch @9to5mac pic.twitter.com/pjmpv5Mx9b
Once the MacBook Pro was cool enough to pick up, it was taken to the local Apple Store where staff said nothing could be done until it had spent 24 hours in a fireproof safe, after which time they would call with a plan.
White Panda writes that he never received a callback, so he contacted the store. It said his case had been "escalated," and that it would be five days before he'd hear back about the results of the investigation into the fire.
In the past, we've heard of iPhones, iPads, e-cigarettes, headphones, and a certain Note 7 catching fire, but MacBook explosions appear to be exceedingly rare, especially given the number of devices that are out there. So while this looks to be an isolated case, that's unlikely to be any consolation to White Panda, who may have to take an enforced break from producing music for a few days.