B.C. Family blames iPhone for igniting fire that destroyed farmhouse

A B.C. couple says they may have to abandon their farm if Apple does not follow through on a promise to help them recover from a blaze that fire officials said was ignited by an iPhone.

Cathy Finley and her husband Ian said the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant offered to help them recover from the fire that devastated their home and farming business in 2016. That gesture, they say, is in limbo because Apple wants to examine the iPhone, but their insurance company does not want to release it.

“Apple wants to get their hands on the phone. My insurance company is trying to protect their interests too,”Ian said.

The couple said they received $600,000 from their insurance policy, but they did not cover the cost of their new home, new belongings, and lost revenue from temporarily shutting down their farm.Cathy and Ian said Apple promised to “make things right.” They said they have heard nothing from the company after suggesting a $500,000 settlement.

Apple said that they are looking into the claim.

Ian feels there is no doubt that the device was to blame for the fire.

He said, “It looked as if something had gone wrong with the phone and it caught the sofa alight, and the rest of the house from there.”

Cathy said she left her iPhone charging inside the home on a leather chair on Oct. 11, 2016, before heading outside to feed her goats.

“I was there about 20 minutes,” she said. “When I came out of the goat field, I started to see smoke coming from our house.”It took fire crews about an hour to douse the flames. The home was destroyed. Cathy’s iPhone was found burnt to a crisp.