Oregon State student's laptop battery sets mattress on fire

CORVALLIS, Ore. - A laptop battery sparked an apartment fire Wednesday morning, and quick thinking by one of the residents who was home at the time helped limit the damage, firefighters said.

The Corvallis Fire Department traced the ignition point to the battery of a 2008 MacBook Pro. The battery fell out of the laptop computer and ignited bedding and clothing, firefighters said.

Some 2008 MacBook users have reported problems with the battery swelling, according to a discussion thread on

One of the three Oregon State University students who lived in the apartment heard a fire alarm and discovered the fire. He closed the door to the room, which contained the smoke, and evacuated the apartment.

The resident called 911. Firefighters arrived at the apartment and found a smoldering mattress in the room.

The American Red Cross responded to the scene and will be assisting the residents with short term temporary housing, the fire department said.

The fire department cautioned computer users to keep them off of and away from combustible material when not with the device. Also, have the computer inspected or serviced if it tends to run hot or if the batteries do not hold a charge.