GLASSBORO — A cellphone charger inside a Rowan University student's pants pocket burst into flames Thursday night.

"The student was in the Chamberlain Student Center and he felt his pocket was hot and as he pulled it out of his pocket the charger caught on fire and ended up burning his leg and his hands and the carport a little bit," said Rowan spokesman Jose Cardona.

The student was taken to the hospital to take care of minor but blistering burns.

The incident caused a brief evacuation of the student center.

The charger was charred beyond recognition. Cardona wasn't clear what brand it was.

New Jersey 101.5 Science and Technology advisor Dave Loudon said the fire could have been caused by a manufacturing defect.

"If there's a short in the battery or it may have been a short in the connector used to connect the charger to the phone. They hold a large amount of energy and if you give that energy an opportunity to discharge itself into something, it gets hot. That is how electricity works in that environment. It's a basic building block of energy."

Loudon warned against buying knockoff products.

"There's a lot of cheap chargers and batteries that are on the market that are of unknown origin and unknown quality," he said.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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