4-year-old's tablet catches fire

Monday, July 15, 2019
News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A local family is speaking out after their 4-year-old's tablet burst into flames while he was holding it. The family had to call the fire department and now they have a huge burn in their carpet.

The tablet that burst into flames is called the RCA Voyager. It only has games on it and it's not too expensive, so it's perfect for children or so Andrea thought.

"I like to play a monster truck game and I like to play every game I want to play," said Gabriel Powell.

Gabriel Powell is your typical 4-year-old but his RCA Voyager tablet looks melted.

"I was playing my game and it got on fire," said Gabriel.

"I was upstairs doing laundry. He was upstairs in his bedroom. He came flying down the stairs, I mean, screaming at the top of his lungs, it's on fire," said Andrea Powell, Gabriel's mom.

Gabe says it started to get hot in his hands it got hot and it started smoking. He threw it across the room and it went up in flames.

"My closet was full of smoke. I thought I was going to die," said Gabriel.

"It's scary, definitely scary. They've in the past gone to bed at night with their tablets. Just the thought of it happening when they're asleep is the scary part," said Ricky Powell, Gabriel's dad.

A quick search and it turns out this isn't the first time families complained about the tablet overheating with quotes online like "It heats up like an iron" and "It gets super hot…like uncomfortably hot.”

"I would just like for them to at least put a disclaimer out or some kind of notice that it has happened. Obviously they've had reviews in the past with overheating. It would be a shame if something like that happened and somebody got hurt. That's the biggest thing," said Ricky.

Gabe is okay and already asking for a new tablet.

"I just like to play games," said Gabriel.

But the family wants to make sure this doesn't ever happen again. Sometimes electronics can overheat if you use a different charger but this was not the case. The family only uses the charger that came with the tablet and the tablet was not even plugged into the charger when it happened.