Cathy and Ian Finley, from Langley, Canada, lived a quiet life with their daughters on a farm in the countryside. Until, in October 2016, everything changed: the fire consumed the family home, which managed to save only a few items of sentimental value, such as their wedding album.
The culprit of all this? According to Cathy, a iPhone and yours loader – and now the couple is looking for answers (and compensation) from Apple.
Who informed was the CBC News: Cathy had left her iPhone 6, then with three months of use, carrying (with original charger and cable, according to herself) leaning on a leather chair where a notebook also rested. The farmer then went to feed her goats and, on her return, the whole house was filled with thick black smoke, with several rooms with fire spots. Only a few items of sentimental value, such as the wedding album, managed to be saved before the building was engulfed in flames.
Fortunately, no one suffered physical damage – Ian was at work, while the couple’s daughters were at school. Even so, the family lost their home and their only source of income: the farm was a place for growing vegetables and vegetables that were sold to local restaurants and hospitals, as well as serving as a place for school trips and special dinners. With the house destroyed, it became impossible to maintain activities.
The Langley fire department’s expertise did not pinpoint the specific cause of the fire-starting agent; it was determined, however, that the fire started precisely in the leather chair where Cathy’s iPhone was resting. The farmer said the device was already showing bugs and that some short circuit in contact with the charger caused the chair to catch fire, starting the incident.
The insurance paid C $ 600,000 (~ R $ 1.5 million) for the Finleys to start rebuilding their lives, but the family said the amount was not enough to restore the house and resume farm activities. With that in mind, Cathy contacted Apple initially in February last year, seeking compensation for what happened.
The company, however, said it could not take any action without inspecting the burned iPhone; the problem is that the device is with a private investigation firm partnered with the firefighters and cannot be retrieved at the moment. On top of that, Apple is in a kind of conflict with the family insurer, which makes it difficult for Cathy and Ian to communicate with the company, and only delays a definitive solution to the case.
Calculating the extra expenses for losses, house reconstruction and other damages at an additional C $ 600,000, the family is now turning to the internet and social networks to try to mobilize society and make Apple pay the amount. The couple’s eldest daughter published a petition on the Change.org website, which was signed by more than 1,700 people in a few days; the numerous calls made by Cathy to Cupertino, many of them ended with the farmer crying in frustration, were also posted on the networks.
Now, the family has about a year to resolve the situation or they will be forced to sell the newly built house and move to the big city, looking for other ways to support themselves. Apple did not comment publicly on the matter, but it is possible that we will have more news about the case now that it is in the public eye – and mouth. Let’s see what this is all about.