Online news website Mashable claims that the handset short circuited and began to burn on a bedside cabinet 15 inches from its owner's face.
Ayla Mota said that he awoke to find sparks and smoke coming from his iPhone 4 before the room filled with an "unbearable" stench. He unplugged the device and aired out the room before any harm was caused.
The incident follows a similar case in Australia, where an iPhone 4 started glowing red and emitting smoke on board a domestic flight. Australian aviation authorities are investigating the occurrence.
"We are investigating - it is quite early on in the investigation," said a spokesman for the authority.
"We do have the phone. It is in our custody and we will be undertaking a technical examination of it. We will be interviewing directly involved parties and also in our technical examination of the phone we are going to be consulting with the manufacturer as well."
An Apple spokesman said that the company is looking "forward to working with officials" in the investigation.
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