A burnt PSP shell shows the damage from the exploding battery.  (Source:
Minor injuries sustained in lithium fire

Rather than let Apple corner the "flaming personal entertainment device" market, a Sony PlayStation Portable has caught fire while in the pocket of a middle-school student in Michigan.

According to the report from Warner Middle School
, the fire occurred at approximately 9:00 AM this morning, when the battery of the PSP apparently overheated and exploded, causing a lithium fire. The fire burned a hole in the student's pants and caused minor burns to his leg.

The school was placed on lockdown in order to allow emergency personnel to enter the building and administer first aid, and the child was taken to a local hospital for further treatment. Police are undergoing an official investigation -- it is not known at this time if the PSP was on when the explosion occurred.

While lithium battery fires have been big news of late, including new restrictions on air travel on January 1st, the major suspects have been laptop computers, due to the larger-capacity cells used -- but the probability of a portable game system to be carried by a child may cause some parents to consider extra precautions.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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