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Students imitating viral trend used iPhone charger, penny to scorch Plymouth classroom

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PLYMOUTH, MASS. (WHDH) - Students imitating a viral trend involving people who record themselves using an iPhone charger and a penny to spark a fire scorched a Plymouth high school classroom on Tuesday, fire officials said.

Firefighters responding to reports of an arcing electrical outlet at Plymouth North High School around 12:15 p.m. found the pronged part of an iPhone charger had been blackened and scorched, and a penny fused to the charger, officials said. Another outlet was similarly scorched.

A teacher said two students plugged chargers into two outlets and dropped a penny between the outlet and charger, causing the outlets to spark and smoke, officials said. No one was injured.

“It’s almost like an explosion. The electricity propels the charger and the coin — the coin is molten metal at this point — outwards.” Plymouth Fire Chief Edward Bradley said. “It can easily get you in the face, get you in the eye, it could cause blindness and it can cause your clothing to catch fire.”

“It does not take much to be electrocuted fatally,” Bradley said. “Just by an outlet in a wall socket.”

Plymouth Schools Superintendent Dr. Gary E. Maestas issued a statement Tuesday night reading in part:

“I am happy to report that there were no injuries or significant damage to Plymouth North High School as a result of their irresponsible act of shorting out an electrical outlet.”

This is not just happening in Plymouth.

State Fire Marshal Peter Otroskey issued an advisory earlier Tuesday after a similar incident, which he said was based on videos shown on TikTok.