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Surprise: Faulty batteries responsible for fire at Galaxy Note 7 battery maker’s factory

Published Feb 9th, 2017 6:50AM EST
Galaxy Note 7 and S8 Battery Maker
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

A “minor fire” broke out on Wednesday at one of Samsung SDI’s factories in China, affecting only waste products. The fire was put out without impacting operations significantly, and there were no casualties. While Samsung did not reveal more details about the causes of the fire, the fire department was more forthcoming. If you thought that faulty batteries may have caused the fire, then you’d be right.

Samsung SDI was the major Galaxy Note 7 battery maker before the first recall, and Samsung SDI batteries will power the Galaxy S8. That’s why fires affecting this particular company matter, especially in the light of Samsung’s recent report on the cause of the Galaxy Note 7 fires.

According to Reuters, a Samsung spokesperson minimized the fire in official statements. Shin Yong-doo said that the fire broke out in a part of the company used for waste, not on the production line and that the factory was running as normal.

The fire department had a different story. The fire was apparently caused by batteries inside the facility.

The “material that caught fire was lithium batteries inside the production workshops and some half-finished products,” the Wuqing branch of the Tianjin Fire Department said on its verified Sina Weibo account.

The fire, described as “minor” by Samsung, was put out by 110 firefighters and 19 trucks, the same fire department said.

Samsung SDI operates five production plants in China, and the Tianjin factory that caught fire is a major provider of small batteries inside phones, Reuters reports.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.