Media reports of exploding electronic cigarettes are becoming increasingly common. But most of the stories run by news stations, both local and national, present only a fraction of the numerous explosions that have actually occurred. For their estimates, many reporters continue to rely on a review of incidents published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2014. Beyond being woefully out-of-date, that report, which covered only 25 e-cig explosions, was far from comprehensive at the time.
E-Cig Explosions: An In-Depth Timeline
Our aim is to close this gap in reporting, by compiling a comprehensive list of every electronic cigarette explosion reported in the media, medical case reports and online forums. We cannot claim to have created a complete list of e-cig explosions, since many accidents may go unreported entirely. But those that have been published can be found here.
To date, we’ve identified 203 recorded e-cig explosions, the earliest reported in August 2009. Of course, this list will continue to grow as time passes, and we intend to update our timeline with new incidents on a regular basis. Feel free to use the information as you see fit, but please cite our work with a link to this page.
Finally, we owe a debt of gratitude to the staff at eCig One, where many of these reports were first compiled.
Chelmsford, Massachusetts – July 2, 2016
A 47-year-old man’s vaporizer battery exploded during charging in his hotel room, according to CBS Boston. Firefighters who responded discovered the man burned on his left hand. His room suffered minor smoke and fire damage.
Salem, Ohio – July 1, 2016
A 32-year-old man suffered burns to his thigh when his e-cigarette exploded early Friday morning, WJBD Radio reports. The vape “either exploded or caught fire,” WJBD writes.
Victorville, California – June 26, 2016
A box mod vaporizer exploded after being left in the driver side door panel of its owner’s car for around 15 minutes. Victorville is a small desert city, and reporters at Victor Valley News say the temperature had surpassed 100 degrees by noon that day.
Apple Valley, California – June 22, 2016
A 40-year-old man was airlifted to a local hospital in the San Bernardino Valley after an e-cig exploded in his face, resulting in facial trauma. Police Sergeant Marc Bracco told reporters that his department is averaging “a call like this once a week,” VVNG reports. Needless to say, many of these explosions have not been reported.
Mission Viejo, California – June 11, 2016
A 34-year-old man sustained first- and second-degree burns when the electronic cigarette in his pocket suddenly exploded, the Orange County Register reports.
Seattle, Washington – June 5, 2016
A 34-year-old man sustained third-degree burns to the back of his thigh when an idle e-cigarette battery in his back pocket exploded. He is waiting to hear whether or not surgery will be required, according to the Seattle Times.
Muskogee, Oklahoma – June 2016
An Oklahoma man is filing suit against the Muskogee e-cigarette retailer, E-Ciggeez, he claims sold him a defective vaporizer. The 22-year-old plaintiff says the e-cig exploded in his mouth. Fox23 reports that his complaint “spells out” the e-cig’s manufacturer, but legal documents have not been made publicly-available. Injuries have not been specified.
Willmar, Minnesota – June 3, 2016
KWLM reports on an e-cig explosion early Friday morning, in which a man’s battery exploded in his pocket. The victim suffered burns to the hands and leg. He was transported to a burn center for treatment.
Tustin, California – June 3, 2016
A 23-year-old suffered “burns and cuts to his face,” according to NBCLA, after his e-cigarette exploded during use.
Beaumont, Texas – June 2, 2016
Local Texas outlet 12News has the story of a 25-year-old who is now recovering from second- and third-degree leg burns after his box mod blew up in his pocket. He underwent an unspecified surgery on Thursday, the same day as the accident, according to reports.
12 News contacted the e-cigarette’s manufacturer, Joy E-Tech, and received the following statement: “we sincere regret for this unfortunate situation.”
Plymouth, Massachusetts – May 24, 2016
Wicked Local Plymouth ran a report on a man who sustained third-degree burns after an e-cig exploded in the afternoon of May 24. A local fire official told reporters the man’s burns were confined to his hands and fingers. No other details were available.
Albany, New York – May 19, 2016
Albany’s WTVR has the story of a young man who sustained serious injuries when a vaporizer exploded during use, knocking out multiple teeth, piercing a hole through his tongue and covering his hands in severe burns. His mother believes the vape’s battery exploded: “everything shot out […] went into his mouth and burned everything.”
Update – June 24, 2016
While no manufacturer has been publicly-linked to the product, WNYT reports that the Albany man who sustained severe injuries on May 19 has now filed suit against the company behind his vape’s lithium-ion battery.
Horwich, Greater Manchester, England – May 16, 2016
A 15-year-old in Manchester woke to find his bed on fire after a charging e-cigarette exploded nearby. Thinking quickly, the young teen warned his family, sleeping in other rooms, and they were able to escape. Their home, however, fared worse. Responding firefighters spent around three hours controlling the blaze, also checking neighboring row-homes for fire damage. A fire official told reporters at the Daily Star that the boy’s room had been “completely gutted.”
Wentzville, Missouri – May 2016
A Wentzville man told St. Louis’ Fox 2 Now that his e-cig battery exploded suddenly in his pants pocket, resulting in third-degree burns.
Troy, Missouri – May 2016
The same Fox 2 Now report describes the traumatic experience of a Troy native, who says he was just walking outside when the lithium-ion battery in his own pocket blew up, leaving him with third-degree burns across his right leg. Reporters say he has already undergone four skin graft procedures.
Washington, Missouri – May 2016
Fox 2 Now’s story describes a third explosion, under similar circumstances, in which a Washington man sustained third-degree burns and “lifetime injuries.” “It just exploded in my pocket, no rhyme or reason,” he told reporters.
Maricopa, Arizona – May 2016
ABC15 reports on a 17-year-old left with severe burns on her chest, arms and hands after her e-cigarette suddenly exploded immediately before use. The teen told reporters, “I was freaking out. My teeth were chattering I was shaking so bad. It was really really scary.” She is currently recovering at a specialized burn center near her Maricopa home. Surgery was slated for Thursday, May 12.
Albertville, Alabama – May 3, 2016
An explosion in a tenth grade classroom left a young student badly burned. During class, a student noticed that the electronic cigarette battery in his pocket had begun to heat up. The battery became so hot that he removed it from his pocket and placed the unit on a nearby desk. It exploded, shooting across the room and hitting another student, who sustained burns for which he was hospitalized.
School Superintendent Ric Ayer told AL.com that possessing a vaporizer in class is a violation of the high school’s tobacco policy, punishable with an in-school or out-of-school suspension.
Ogden, New York – May 3, 2016
A 17-year-old was hospitalized for severe injuries after an e-cig exploded during use. He has “a hole in the back of his throat, deep cuts on his hands and scars […] on his upper lip,” the Democrat & Chronicle reports. While the e-cig’s manufacturer has not been reported, it sounds like a mechanical mod. He told reporters that he had purchased the vape, which came with a computer chip to “regulate energy current and heat,” online for $350.
St. Joseph, Missouri – April 30, 2016
During a shift at the Olive Garden, a young man says an electronic cigarette battery stored in his pants’ pocket exploded in front of 20 or 30 other coworkers. After removing his pants in the restaurant’s backroom, he found pieces of the battery’s casing embedded in his skin. He sustained burns to his groin and inner thigh, St. Joseph News-Press reports, but elected to treat the injuries himself rather than seek professional attention. He has contacted an attorney.
Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia – April 2016
A Georgia man was severely injured when multiple idle e-cigarette batteries exploded in his pants pocket. His wife told WSB-TV that “there was no warning. There was nothing getting hot in his pocket. Nothing warmed up. Nothing gave him the sense that something was wrong. It just exploded.” The battery was manufactured by Efest. WSB-TV reached out to the Chinese manufacturer for response but had not received a response at the time of publication.
Colorado Springs, Colorado – April 2016
A man sustained second- and third-degree burns to his leg when an e-cig battery in his pocket made contact with keys and coins in a Colorado vape shop. A surveillance video posted on local NBC affiliate KOAA‘s website captured the incident.
Paso Robles, California – April 18, 2016
A 17-year-old lost most of his bottom teeth when an e-cigarette he was using exploded. The teen was driving with his friends at the time and the blast “cracked the windows of the car,” Paso Robles Daily News writes. His family told reporters that the explosion blew a small hole through his tongue, causing swelling so significant that he required intubation at the hospital.
Long Island, New York – April 18, 2016
A man told NBC New York that his e-cigarette battery exploded out of his pocket when he has shopping in a Freeport Home Depot. The blast ripped through his pants, leaving him with second-degree burns to his thigh and hand. He emailed the battery’s manufacturer, Chinese company Efest. In its response, the company said that while its product’s packaging boxes already bear a warning to consumers, a warning will also be added to the wrappers on the batteries themselves.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – April 18, 2016
A 19-year-old was injured after the e-cigarette in his pocket made contact with some coins, short-circuiting the device’s battery. The teen told KSN that he quickly realized his pants were on fire, and grabbed for the e-cig with the work gloves he was wearing. The device, though, had become so hot that the battery melted to his hand. He finally ripped the glove off, taking a strip of skin along with it.
Oswego, Illinois – April 16, 2016
A car burst into flames in the parking lot of an Illinois Wal-Mart, lighting a second vehicle on fire before firefighters could control the blaze. Fire officials later determined that the fire had likely been started by an e-cig in the car’s console, according to WGNtv.
Orange County, California – April 15, 2016
NBC Los Angeles has the story of Joe Cavins, who has chosen to speak out on the dangers of e-cigs after losing an eye in an explosion.
Update – May 25, 2016
Cavins has filed a lawsuit against four California companies, the Vapor Loft, VapeItUp, Lan & Mike International Trading (dba Vapor DNA) and Vaping American Made Products, over the e-cig explosion that left him permanently blind. The complaint was filed on May 19, according to Courthouse News Service, in Orange County Court.
Denpasar, Bali – April 2016
A man sustained chest burns and facial lacerations in Bali when his e-cigarette exploded during use, Tribun Lampung reports.
Idaho Falls, Idaho – April 8, 2016
An Idaho man suffered second- and third-degree burns when the vape in his pocket suddenly exploded at a mall. He told Local News 8 that he had been attending to his children at the time. At the time of publication, the man was recovering after skin graft surgery.
Queens, New York – April 7, 2016
A Queens woman was driving home when the e-cigarette battery in her pocket suddenly exploded, bursting with such force that the device became lodged in her vehicle’s dashboard. The explosion, which involved a lithium-ion battery manufactured by South Korea’s LG, left her recovering from third-degree burns. She must walk with a cane, the Daily News reports, and has been unable to work since the incident.
She is one of several clients being actively represented by Marc Freund, Esq., a Partner here at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman.
Heanor, Derbyshire, England – April 7, 2016
Fire crews arrived to a home in Derbyshire after the flames begun by an e-cig had already been extinguished. Officials told reporters at the Derby Telegraph that the vape had been plugged into the wrong charger when it exploded.
Brooklyn, New York – April 5, 2016
A 14-year-old sustained severe facial and hand injuries when an e-cig exploded as he held it in a Brooklyn vape shop. The boy says he was allowed to handle multiple vaporizers at a kiosk in the Kings Plaza mall, despite New York state laws prohibiting the sale or marketing of e-cigarettes to minors. New York Daily News says the explosion occurred when a shop employee plugged the device into an appropriate charger, as an apparent demonstration of the e-cig’s operation. The vape exploded, sending shards of metal into the young boy’s eyes and spewing chemicals over his body.
He is being represented by the e-cig attorneys here at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman.
Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland – April 2016
Only five minutes after being plugged into a wall outlet, an elderly Scottish man’s e-cig exploded in his apartment, charring the wall and carpet. He told the BBC that he had purchased the device overseas on a vacation, but did not specify the manufacturer. The man was out of the room, but rushed in when he heard a loud bang, finding the e-cigarette spurting flames “like a Roman candle firework.”
Phoenix, Arizona – April 4, 2016
Arizona’s 3TV News reported on an e-cigarette explosion that left a 22-year-old recovering from second- and third-degree burns on his legs. The young man was at work when he heard an explosion, looked down, and saw “flames spurting out of [his] pocket.” He was being treated at the Arizona Burn Center, scheduled for surgery on Thursday, April 7, 2016.
3TV News describes the device believed to have caused the explosion as a “vape pen,” a type of electronic cigarette with a detachable, refillable tank for eLiquid.
Richmond, Virginia – April 2016
A long-time-smoker from Richmond sustained third-degree burns on her hand when she picked up a vaporizer that had fallen to the floor and the device exploded.
The woman, who spoke to an Oregon news outlet writing a piece on several such accidents, said she had just woken up and, reaching for a bottle of water on her bed stand, inadvertently knocked her e-cig onto the floor. As she lifted the device to her face, it blew up, shooting “about 10 feet out [her] bedroom door, hit[ting] the wall.” On its way, the flaming vape ignited her carpet and a towel, even singing the blades of her ceiling fan. She was treated for her burns at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Seattle, Washington – March 2016
A 2-year-old boy was burned after his mother’s vaporizer exploded, igniting their bed, according to the Seattle Times.
Crawley, West Sussex, England – March 30, 2016
A UK vape shop is locked in a bitter dispute with one of its customers, who claims the retailer sold him a faulty KangerTech TOPBOX Mini e-cig that suddenly exploded only an hour after purchasing the device. The customer claims the vaporizer was defective, saying it had been switched off and unplugged at the time of explosion. The vape shop, though, says the man had used an inappropriate charger, since he later returned a charger, untouched in its original packaging, that he had purchased along with the device. The man had previously returned three other e-cigs, all of which he claims were defective, to the same store. He is now banned from the Smoke and Vapes Centre in Crawley. More on the story at Crawley News, with a photograph seeming to corroborate the customer’s story is hosted.
Keene, New Hampshire – March 27, 2016
Shortly after a customer at Keene’s Timoleon’s Restaurant removed an e-cig from his pocket, the device exploded, spraying shrapnel into the restaurant’s wall. The vaporizer’s owner suffered burns to the hand and face, reports the Sentinel Source, and flying debris hit a nearby customer, burning through their shirt. Timoleon’s gave the injured bystander a free dessert.
Kalamazoo, Michigan – March 26, 2016
A Michigan man told WWMT that his e-cigarette exploded shortly after he took a puff on Saturday night, causing third-degree burns to his hand. He says he will require plastic surgery. The man says he plans to sue the e-cig’s manufacturer, but would not specify a brand.
Atlanta, Georgia – March 16, 2016
A passenger’s electronic cigarette exploded before take-off on a Delta flight from Atlanta International Airport to St. Louis. The e-cig was in a carry-on back pack at the time, says ABC News. The flight was delayed only 25 minutes, as firefighters came on board to ensure the safety of passengers.
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada – March 14, 2016
In a short report, CBCNews describes a vehicle fire that was started after the owner’s e-cigarette blew up. The 18-year-old man was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. No details on whether the device had been charging or in use at the time.
Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland – March 11, 2016
A grandmother in Scotland told the Dunfermline Press that her VIP-brand electronic cigarette suddenly exploded, leaving a hole in the wooden cabinet on which it had been sitting. The e-cig was charged, but had not been plugged in at the time. The woman says her family was preparing dinner when the vape exploded. Her husband burned his fingers trying to pick it up. Thirty minutes after they used a towel to throw the device into the front lawn, it was still too hot to pick up, she told reporters.
Fulton, Maryland – March 2, 2016
Emergency personnel responded to a Maryland man’s home after his e-cigarette exploded in his pocket. The man was transferred to a hospital for his burns, reports ABC2 News.
New Orleans, Louisiana – February 2016
After returning home from a weekend crawfish boil in late February, a New Orleans man says his e-cigarette battery exploded just as he was about to raise the device to his lips. In an interview with WWLTV, the 28-year-old chef said, “it exploded and took off in my hand just like a bottle rocket or a roman candle,” flying up to the ceiling and then ricocheting throughout the room. He told reporters that he grabbed the red-hot battery with a towel and threw it out into the street. The battery was so hot that it burned clean through the towel, he said. The battery was manufactured by Efest, a brand local retailer Crescent City Vape told WWLTV they no longer carry.
Castle Rock, Colorado – February 2016
A 17-year-old suffered horrific burns on his leg when an e-cig battery exploded in his pocket at school. After being rushed to the hospital with third-degree burns, the teen underwent three surgeries, Fox 31 Denver reports, and will require on-going physical and burn management therapy.
Speaking to Fox, Dr. Tanya Oswald, a reconstructive surgeon at the burn center where the teenager was treated, described his injuries as “devastating […] full thickness burn[s]. In the past six months,” she continued, “we’ve seen an increase in the number of burn patients as well as dramatic injury patients in relation to electronic cigarettes and battery-operated vapor devices.”
Rochester, New Hampshire – February 26, 2016
A New Hampshire man’s e-cigarette exploded in his apartment early Friday morning, causingd mild property damage. WMUR writes that the man was not using the USB charger pre-packaged with the device. Rochester Fire Department Deputy Chief Tim Waker says the inappropriate charger was supplying more amperage than the man’s e-cig battery could handle.
Naples, Florida – February 25, 2016
A Naples woman says she was in her car outside a friend’s house when, as soon as she pushed her vaporizer’s activation button, the device unexpectedly exploded in her face. The 30-year-old ran into her friend’s home to report the incident and, when she went back outside, found her car aflame. She was taken to the hospital, where doctors treated for wounds on her lips and the inside of her mouth. She says that she lost several teeth in the accident.
In an interview with WinkNews, a CBS affiliate serving Southwest Florida, the woman exhibited a passion for e-cigarettes. “I know how to build my own coils, I know how to check the ohms, I know what I’m doing,” she said. Noting that she planned to pursue a lawsuit against the e-cig’s manufacturer, who has not been reported, she advised caution. “Be very careful because you’re playing a game of Russian roulette obviously.”
In a report published on April 14, ABC-7 has a follow-up story on the Naples woman injured in late February. She recently learned that she may lose another tooth, and her dentists expect bone grafts in the future. As for the cause of the explosion, ABC-7 names the e-cig’s manufacturer as Tugboat. Tugboat doesn’t seem to have a website of its own, but most online retailers stock the company’s mechanical mod vaporizers and parts. In contrast to earlier reports, the woman now says she “had done nothing to modify her Tugboat e-cigarette and [had] only used batteries from the same brand.” Months earlier, she had told ABC-7 that she had “modified” her vaporizer, but only using products manufactured by Tugboat.
Birmingham, England – February 2016
A 20-year-old father of one was left with extensive second- and third-degree burns along his legs after an electronic cigarette battery exploded in his pocket. The man, who was shopping at the time, was assisted by other shoppers, who “roll[ed] him on the ground,” the Daily Mail writes. Doctors at the burn unit to which the man was transferred say he will require skin grafts.
Lyndhurst, Ohio – February 23, 2016
Firefighters were dispatched to an office building outside Cleveland after an e-cig battery exploded in the pocket of an employee’s lab coat. Fox 8 says the explosion did not start a fire and that no one in the building sustained injuries.
Owensboro, Kentucky – February 20, 2016
In one of the most widely-covered explosions, a convenience store’s security camera caught on film the moment that an idle electronic cigarette battery exploded in a Kentucky man’s pocket. The man was waiting at the check-out counter when the battery blew up without warning, igniting his pants. He ran outside, struggling to rip his clothes off, until a store employee was able to douse the flames. Sustaining second-degree burns, the man was hospitalized for treatment.
The shocking video came to national attention, with NBC Nightly News devoting two minutes to the story.
Phoenix, Arizona – February 2016
As he was driving near Phoenix, a local man says the two spare e-cig batteries in his pocket exploded, resulting in “extensive burns,” ABC 15 reports. His wife told reporters that a specialist inspected the car and found the fabric of his pants melted into the seat.
Bury, Greater Manchester, England – February 2016
An Efest battery exploded in a man’s pocket as he was skating with two of his children at a roller rink in Bury. The blast, which left him with severe burns and nerve damage, happened just as he was taking his seven-year-old son’s hand. A video of the traumatic incident was captured on the establishment’s security camera and can be viewed here.
Denton, Greater Manchester, England – February 20, 2016
The Manchester Evening News reports on a woman who was badly burned when a spare e-cig battery exploded in her handbag during a drive with her family. The blast set her clothes on fire and apparently shot flames with such force that the back seat of her vehicle was set alight as well. She was administered initial treatments at a local hospital and then transferred to a burn center for specialized care. Her battery had been manufactured by Chinese company Efest.
Aylesham, Kent, England – February 20, 2016
A 24-year-old man burst into flames during a shopping trip with his fiancee. Left with second- and third-degree burns to his legs, the man says a spare e-cigarette battery blew up in his pocket. A second battery melted onto his thigh, according to the Mirror.
Anglet, France – February 18, 2016
A woman in southwest France was vaping inside her car when she noticed the device overheating. She quickly threw the e-cig into her passenger seat and jumped out just as the battery exploded, lighting her seat on fire. The blaze quickly spread, The Local says, ultimately consuming three other vehicles parked behind her. She sustained minor burns to her back.
Salt Lake City, Utah – February 16, 2016
A 23-year-old suffered second-degree burns when his vaporizer exploded unexpectedly, after he had dumped some change into his pocket. The man, who was on his lunch break at the time, told reporters at Fox 13 Now that he had never warned about the risk of placing an e-cig battery near other metal objects.
Southern Utah – February 15, 2016
A Utah man says his e-cigarette had been connected to a “smart charger” shortly before he tucked the device into his pocket and it suddenly exploded. He is now recovering from first- , second- and third-degree burns to his legs, says Fox 13 Now.
Splendora, Texas – February 2016
Near Houston, a 22-year-old sustained major burns when the e-cigarette battery in his pocket exploded during a drive with co-workers. The man told Fox 4 News that he “looked down and [saw that] just a ball of fire basically in my pocket had melted my pants to my leg.” As the man, who was driving at the time, pulled over, the car’s floorboard caught fire.
Las Vegas, Nevada – February 8, 2016
A Las Vegas man was finishing some notes in his car when the e-cig battery sitting idle in his pocket exploded, burning through his pants. He spent three days in the hospital recovering from his burns, TMJ 4 reports. The man plans to file a lawsuit against the e-cigarette’s manufacturer. While few details on the explosion are available, his attorney suggested that the device may have come into contact with metal objects in his pocket.
Missoula, Montana – February 2016
A teen in Missoula suffered severe oral injuries in early February when his e-cigarette exploded during use. A local dentist told reporters from KPAX that the young man’s injuries were worse than those sustained in any car accident he’d ever seen. Not only did the teen lose four front teeth, the blast “also blew out large chunks of jaw bone,” Dr. Kevin Miltko said. It took 22 stitches to repair the damage, which the dentist likened to “a bullet hole.”
Surprise, Arizona – February 2016
A man was driving to work when the spare e-cig batteries he had placed in his pocket unexpectedly exploded, lighting his pants on fire. “As I got into the turn lane,” he told Arizona NBC station KPNX, “my pocket just combusted and it just lit up like the Fourth of July.” He pulled over, ripped his shorts off, and then noticed the batteries, which had fallen out of his pocket.
Suffering from severe second- and third-degree burns, mostly confined to his right leg, the man spent one week at the Arizona Burn Center. He received skin grafts. Graphic photos posted to the GoFundMe page he started to pay for his recovery show significant burns on the back and fingers of his right hand.
Dr. Kevin Foster, director of the Arizona Burn Center, told KPNX that, at least in his own experience, e-cigarette explosions are “a fairly common problem.” The battery’s manufacturer has not been reported.
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England – January 30, 2016
A 32-year-old father was out with his friends when the e-cigarette in his pocket exploded, melting the credit card beside it. Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, he said the injuries left his hand unusable and burns on his legs prevented him from walking.
Location Unknown – January 2016
BrownManVapes, a member on e-cigarette-forum.com, describes an explosion in late January at a vape shop. One of the store’s owners was trying out an off-brand replica, or “clone”, of a mechanical mod made by Tuglyfe when, after plugging in a single Chinese-made IMREN battery, the mod exploded.
Glasgow, Scotland – January 2016
In late January, a 21-year-old hotel bartender sustained severe burns to his hand after a mechanical mod e-cig he had purchased from a Chinese seller on eBay exploded. Recovering from burns that had eaten through two layers of skin, he told the Daily Mail that he “heard a crackle and hiss before the vape burst into a huge flame like a proper fiery explosion.”
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada – January 2016
An Alberta 16-year-old was recovering from severe facial burns and shattered teeth after his electronic cigarette exploded in his mouth in late January. Nicky Walker-Kolby, a representative of the United Vape Retailers Association of Alberta, told reporters at Canada’s Global News that the teen was suspected of having used two incompatible device components together. The boy denies this allegation, specifying that his device, purchased at a local vape shop, was manufactured by China’s Shenzhen Wotofo Technology Co., Ltd.
Cologne, Germany – January 23, 2016
A 20-year-old was perusing the wares in a Cologne vape shop when his own vaporizer, which he had just outfitted with two new parts, blew up in his mouth. He lost several teeth, according to Germany’s The Local, as well as facial burns.
Moultonborough, New Hampshire – January 20, 2016
After a vaporizer exploded in his pocket at work, causing severe burns, a New Hampshire man has filed suit against the e-cig’s manufacturer, Chinese company Shenzhen Kanger Technology Co. The vape shop who he says assembled the device is also named as a defendant in the case, according to a report from the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Shropshire, England – January 20, 2016
The Independent reports on the story of a 22-year-old man whose e-cigarette exploded during use, causing significant damage to his hands and teeth. He underwent four operations, including a skin graft, on his hand and now faces extensive dental work.
Salford, Greater Manchester, England – January 20, 2016
A 24-year-old mother of two required plastic surgery after an e-cig explosion sent a device’s mouthpiece hurtling towards her eyelid. She rushed to the hospital, but was later transferred to a more advanced care facility for specialized surgery due to the wound’s severity. The Mirror has more on the story.
Englewood, Florida – January 17, 2016
A Florida man was driving to breakfast with his father when the e-cig he was using exploded in his mouth. Dazed, the man asked, “what happened?”, and his dad, pulling over, said, “your e-cigarette blew up.” When he looked down, the man realized that his chest was on fire. They hurried to the emergency room, and the man was flown from there to a burn trauma center an hour north in Bradenton. The man told Wink News that he lost eight teeth in the accident.
Windsor, California – January 17, 2016
A fire prevention specialist in Sonoma County says six of a young boy’s teeth fell out “literally […] with braces on them” when the modified e-cigarette he had been using exploded in his mouth. The Press Democrat says that reporting firefighters found fragments of the device “still hot like embers” on the floor when they reported to the 15-year-old’s home.
New Hanover County, North Carolina – January 13, 2016
A North Carolina man says he lost an eye when his e-cigarette exploded in the car. The man told a Hawaii news station that he was about to take “his first puff of the day” when his vaporizer blew up in his face. He sustained second- and third-degree burns to his chest and needed more than 50 stitches to repair his disfigured nose. His left eye was removed by surgeons at the Chapel Hill hospital to which he was airlifted.
Maui, Hawaii – January 12, 2016
Onboard a small Hawaii Airlines flight from Oahu to Maui, an electronic cigarette stored in checked baggage caught on fire. The pilot was able to extinguish the fire safely, Hawaii News Now reports. While storing an e-cig in checked baggage is prohibited by Transportation Department regulations, no charges were filed against the passenger who owned the device.
Philippines, January 2016
The owner of a small hospital in the Philippines, e-cigarette-forum.com member Renet Abella, says his e-cig exploded, spraying flames across his girlfriends’ legs, one morning in early January over breakfast. A later post specifies that the batteries used in his mechanical mod were manufactured by South Korean multinational LG.
Northwich, Cheshire, England – January 2016
In England, a man’s Eleaf iStick vaporizer, which he’d left to charge next to his bed overnight, exploded around 4:30 in the morning, leaving him with extensive burns on one side of his face and arm. After gathering his wits, the man extinguished the fire with a pillow, grabbed his children and rushed out of the house. His three-old-son had left the bed only two hours earlier, he told the Mirror.
Rising Sun, Maryland – January 2016
Long-time-smoker Dwayne Cahill told ABC2 News that his Vuse digital vapor cigarette, a brand manufactured by tobacco giant RJ Reynolds, exploded while he was driving. The device was in use, the man says, when it became “extremely hot and the nicotine cartridge blew off.” He suffered unspecified cheek injuries. ABC2 contacted RJ Reynolds and received the following response from the company’s Senior Director of Communications David P. Howard:
“Mr. Cahill contacted our consumer relations department on February 8 to report an incident that purportedly occurred with our product in early January. We provided Mr. Cahill with a mailer to return the product for evaluation, but he declined to do so. There have been no similar incidents reported to us and we currently have no means to further evaluate Mr. Cahill’s statements.”
To our knowledge, this is the first media report of a Vuse-brand e-cigarette exploding.
Jackson County, Indiana – January 5, 2016
An electronic cigarette explosion has been blamed for a truck driver’s crash on an Indiana highway. The man veered off the road into a guardrail, and though he sustained injuries to the face, police investigators told CBS 4 Indy that the driver’s wounds were caused by the exploding e-cig battery and not the accident.
Ladera Ranch, California – January 4, 2016
CBS News describes a case in which a 19-year-old sustained burns on his thighs when two e-cig batteries, carried along with coins in the teen’s pocket, suddenly exploded at work. A captain from the local fire department said the young man’s electronic cigarette flew around 15 feet down an aisle of the grocery store where he worked.
Los Angeles, California – January 3, 2016
An Air Force veteran filed suit against a California vape shop after a newly-charged e-cig battery, which didn’t seem to be working, exploded in his face as he checked it. The e-cig, which the vet told the Daily Mail blew up after he repeatedly hit the activation button to no avail, shot flames so far that they extended from his head to the floor.
Orange County, California – January 2016
A 26-year-old man suffered second- and third-degree burns when his e-cig exploded at a friend’s apartment in early January. He spent eleven days hospitalized, undergoing two surgeries, including skin grafts. Doctors tell him his leg wounds will take two years to fully heal, reports Southern California’s NBC 4. He has filed suit against two local retailers, one where he bought the battery and the other where he purchased the charger.
Colorado Springs, Colorado – January 2016
A 19-year-old young man was injured after a lithium-ion battery, idle in his pocket, exploded unexpectedly, covering 6% of his body in severe burns, according to NBC affiliate 9 News. “I was putting on my pants and all of a sudden a flame flew up,” he told reporters, “it was like touching a stove over my whole leg.” His roommate helped extinguish the flames, and then drove him to an urgent care center. At the University of Colorado’s burn treatment facility, he underwent skin grafts.
Ogden, Utah – December 25, 2015
A Utah family is blaming a defective e-cig for the Christmas morning fire that left their home temporarily uninhabitable. A family member was using his e-cigarette in a backroom when the device exploded in his face. He threw the device to the floor, inadvertently lighting their child’s crib on fire, and rushed to clear his eyes with water. When the fire was noticed, there was no choice but to evacuate the house. According to the Standard Examiner, the American Red Cross offered to help with the family’s immediate needs.
Pismo Beach, California – December 20, 2015
A California man was trying out his new vaporizer, a device he says the manager of a Pismo Beach vape shop had “gifted to him,” when the e-cig exploded, resulting in third-degree burns on his hands and face. The vape was assembled from parts manufactured by numerous different companies, although the New Times reports that the device’s lithium-ion battery was “foreign-made.”
Cashmere, Washington – December 2015
A 24-year-old was driving in Central Washington when the e-cigarette he was holding began making “a static-y sound,” the Seattle Times writes. A moment later, the e-cig exploded, leaving him with such extensive arm injuries that he had to be medevaced to Seattle for expert treatment. After five surgeries, including skin grafts, doctors are still uncertain whether or not he will ever regain use of his right hand.
Clovis, California – December 2015
A California teen is suing the Chinese e-cig manufacturer he blames for the severe injuries sustained when a battery exploded in his pocket during class. The company is Shenzhen IVPS Technology, according to the boy’s attorney, who says he has evidence the manufacturer knew of its product’s deficiencies as early as 2009. The specific e-cig involved in the case comes from Shenzhen IVPS’ SMOK product line, ABC 7 reports.
Grand Rapids, Michigan – December 2015
A Grand Rapids man says he was changing his son’s diaper when a sensation of heat on his leg alerted him that something was wrong. But before he could remove his pants, the e-cig in his pocket exploded, causing second- and third-degree burns. West Michigan’s Fox 17 reported with no uncertainty that the blast was a result of the e-cigarette’s battery making contact with change in the man’s pocket.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – December 8, 2015
Oklahoma City NBC News affiliate KFOR reported on injuries sustained by a young man after his electronic cigarette exploded as he was refilling the device’s tank with eLiquid. At the hospital, the 22-year-old received 8 stitches on his forehead. The next day, he described the accident to reporters:
“I was loading more juice into it and, all of a sudden – I can’t remember if I had it facing me or the bottom facing me, but there was a loud flash and bang, and a piece of scrap metal hit me in the head. It kind of knocked me out of my chair, too. It was loud. My ears were ringing real bad, and I was just dazed for a second.”
The explosion woke his parents, who were sleeping nearby. The young man’s father likened the sound to a “gunshot.” After rushing into their son’s room, the parents discovered their son with “blood just pouring down” the right side of his face and glasses.
After investigating the device itself, KFOR writers said it looked like a mix of components from different manufacturers.
Newport Beach, California – November 2015
A man sustained third-degree burns on his hands when an e-cig, which had begun to make a strange crackling sound, suddenly exploded, sending three-foot flames shooting in front of his face. The device’s coils, he told ABC 7, hurtled with such force that the components blew clear through the mattress on which he’d been lying.
Exmouth, East Devon, England – November 26, 2015
An Exmouth man struggled to rip off his pants, but not before sustaining severe leg burns, after the e-cigarette battery in his pocket burst into flames. The Mirror reports and, at the time of publication, the man was awaiting to hear whether he would require skin grafts.
Colorado Springs, Colorado – November 20, 2015
A 29-year-old man from Memphis, Tennessee was hospitalized with a broken neck, shattered teeth, facial fractures and extensive burns to the mouth after an e-cig manufactured by KangerTech exploded in his face. He spent 10 days in the hospital, according to the Denver Post, undergoing spinal surgery and other operations.
In additional reporting, CBS News said that KangerTech had not yet responded to requests for comment. While smaller than the likes of RJ Reynolds, KangerTech, a Chinese company founded in 2007, is one of the largest personal vaporizer manufacturers to be linked explicitly to a battery explosion.
Davie, Florida – November 20, 2015
A Florida woman says her fiance saved her life, pulling her out of danger right before the e-cigarette charging on their bed caught fire early Friday morning. The e-cig was an Eleaf iStick model manufactured by a Chinese company, Shenzhen Eleaf Electronics Co., Ltd., with US operations based in Irvine, California. Requests for comment from ABC affiliate Local 10 News were not answered.
Washington County, Pennsylvania – November 17, 2015
While driving on Interstate 79, a couple from Pennsylvania says their e-cigarette began to glow red, “like a blacksmith heating metal,” they told WPXI. Then it caught fire, burning a vehicle occupant’s hands in the process. The fire burned a hole through the floor of their car and left a scorched patch on one seat. WPXI reached out to the battery’s manufacturer, Chinese company Efest, but received no response.
Location Unknown – November 2015
On e-cigarette-forum.com, member aetherolea says they were finishing up some personal modifications to a vaporizer when, instead of firing up, the device’s battery heated up and “shot out of the mod like a bullet.”
The floor of the room caught on fire, aetherolea says, describing “scorch marks” on the ceiling from where burning device components flew out. The user admits to being a novice at the time, detailing several other mistakes they made in building the vaporizer. The battery was an Efest 2800mAh 35A model, which aetherolea says they verified as authentic using a tool on Efest’s website.
Columbus, Nebraska – November 9, 2015
A 29-year-old was in his garage when the e-cig he was planning to use suddenly stopped working. Assuming that the battery had died, he replaced it for a freshly-charged one, then held the device to his ear and pressed its activation button. That’s when the vape blew up, leaving him with first-degree burns to his eye and second-degree burns on his face, according to Kearney Hub. At the hospital, physicians debated over whether to amputate the man’s ear, but finally decided to reattach the organ using 18 stitches.
The battery was manufactured by China’s Efest. Reporters at Kearney Hub say the manufacturer’s phone number, listed on their website, leads to an “invalid extension.”
Bentonville, Arkansas – November 6, 2015
Two weeks after buying a Fu Chai mechanical mod manufactured by Chinese firm Sigelei, a Bantonville man says the device blew up in his mouth, burning his lips, throat and hands and shattering his teeth. The man’s wife showed reporters at ArkansasMatters.com remnants of the e-cig’s battery, which had broken “into pieces [and] turn[ed] almost inside out.”
Gopeng, Malaysia – November 5, 2015
A 33-year-old man required six stitches in his lip after the e-cigarette he had been using blew up, sending the vape’s mouthpiece flying at his face. In a piece written by the Star/Asia News Network, reporters said the story had gone viral on social media.
Cape Coral, Florida – October 2015
A man in South Florida sustained hand and leg burns when the e-cigarette in his pocket exploded as he was trying to remove it, according to a local NBC affiliate.
North Naples, Florida – October 26, 2015
A 21-year-old was in critical condition after being found “covered in soot” after the e-cigarette he had been using exploded in his face. A loud bang alerted his sister, who was in bed with her 2-year-old child in another room, to the incident. She ran in and discovered her brother “not breathing, with his whole face burned and his neck burned and trying to throw up a little or maybe he was gasping for air,” she told WinkNews.
The young man was flown to a hospital in Miami and put in a medically-induced coma. Examining his wounds, doctors concluded that the explosion had caused both external wounds and internal damage to his lungs.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – October 25, 2015
Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation opened an internal investigation after a passenger’s electronic cigarette caught fire midway through a Malindo Air flight from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur. The passenger suffered minor burns to his thigh and arm, reports Channel NewsAsia. It’s unclear whether the man was actively charging his e-cig during the flight, although the article notes that this would be prohibited by International Civil Aviation Organization guidelines.
Wichita, Kansas – October 2015
In Wichita, a man says that a recently-charged (and newly-purchased) e-cig battery exploded right after he placed it into his vaporizer. The explosion broke the e-cigarette into two pieces, he claims, sending bits of metal and plastic flying through the room. He told reporters at local news station KAKE that he suffered minor burns. KAKE has since removed the story, but Consumerist has a write-up.
Bakersfield, California – October 16, 2015
A 23-year-old from Bakersfield suffered severe injuries to his mouth and hands when an e-cigarette exploded in his face, sending shrapnel flying across his bathroom. Surgeons had to amputate a portion of his left index finger, CBS Los Angeles reports.
Springfield Township, Pennsylvania – October 13, 2015
iradiophilly.com reports on a brief school evacuation after a student’s e-cig battery came into contact with change in the boy’s pocket, causing the battery to overheat and explode. Fire officials say the boy sustained minor burns to his hands and hip, but no one else was injured.
White House, Tennessee – September 2015
A 19-year-old told Eugene, Oregon’s KVAL that he was just finishing up his first shift at a Dunkin Donuts in Tennessee when a “fountain of fire” erupted from the modified vaporizer in his pocket. He was rushed to the emergency room and, after being treated for second-degree burns for 14 hours, released. The teen is fairly certain of what caused the explosion. His mechanical mod was missing its back casing, leaving the batteries exposed. When a set of keys also in his pocket touched a ding on one of the batteries, the unit “ground out,” resulting in an explosion.
Roath, Cardiff, Wales – August 19, 2015
Firefighters in Wales responded to a large house fire at around 1 in the morning, pulling two occupants and their dog from a blaze raging through a second-floor apartment. Investigators believe the fire was caused by an e-cigarette charger’s explosion, the Mirror writes.
Wyandotte, Michigan – August 2015
Detroit’s Fox 2 reported on an explosion that left an army veteran convalescing in the hospital. The man says he was using the device at the time, telling reporters, “I pushed it and it just exploded – a big boom louder than a shotgun going off.”
Newport, Wales – August 10, 2015
An electronic cigarette that had been plugged into a phone charger exploded, flying across a young family’s bedroom and igniting the bed. The family escaped to safety, says UK paper the Mirror.
Bakersfield, California – September 11, 2015
A man sustained second-degree burns across his leg after an e-cig battery exploded in his pocket as he was walking out of a Bakersfield vape shop. He spent eleven days in the hospital, receiving two skin grafts, according to ABC 7. An attorney’s investigation uncovered evidence that the man’s battery was one of several models that are widely-counterfeited. He believes the injured man’s battery was a counterfeit.
Cobb County, Georgia – July 29, 2015
A 23-year-old man suffered severe injuries after an e-cig exploded in his mouth on a work break. He was air-lifted to a hospital at the University of Alabama and treated for first-degree burns and a hole the size of a dime, according to AOL, in the roof of his mouth. His father says the young man also has burns on his hands, a fractured neck, broken fingers and burns to his cornea. One of his front teeth was forced upward into the gum.
Miramar Beach, Florida – July 29, 2015
The Walton Sun has the story of a Florida man who suffered critical injuries after a mechanical mod vaporizer blew up in his mouth. EMTs responded to reports of “significant facial trauma,” performing lifesaving measures before transporting the man to a local hospital. He was then taken by medevac to an advanced treatment center.
Austin, Texas – June 30, 2015
The owner of an auto glass company in Austin suffered leg burns after an extra e-cig battery he had been carrying in his pocket exploded. He told Austin’s Fox 7 that he believed the burns were chemical in nature.
Flower Mound, Texas – June 2015
Texas NBC affiliate DFW reports on the e-cig battery explosion that left a 21-year-old man with second- and third-degree burns on his legs. The young man told reporters he could still not walk because the burn had damaged muscles in his thigh. He showed reporters the batteries, a lithium-ion unit manufactured by a Chinese company named Efest, noting that they are sold without any safety instructions. After contacting the company, DFW writes that an Efest representative “theorized” that the battery came into contact with keys the victim had in his pocket, causing a short circuit.
Location Unknown – May 31, 2015
e-cigarette-forum member Papillon61 says their Efest-brand electronic cigarette battery exploded inside a mechanical mod, causing thigh injuries.
Nantes, France – May 15, 2015
A 21-year-old was injured in Nantes when the battery of his electronic cigarette suddenly exploded in his hands. French media report that the young man suffered two severed tendons, in a blast that began when his e-cig started whistling.
Runcorn, Halton, England – April 19, 2015
A Runcorn resident had just popped out for a moment when the e-cigarette he’d left charging started a fire in the kitchen of his home. He told the Liverpool Echo that fragments of the e-cig’s battery, found at the far edge of the room, indicated that the device had exploded.
Little Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey – April 2015
Emergency personnel responded to a house fire that started after a New Jersey homeowner plugged her e-cigarette into a cell phone charger, rather than the charger designed for her vape. Local Fire Chief Bill Stenger told pressofAtlanticCity.com that the woman admitted not knowing the difference between the two chargers, which looked identical to one another.
Jupiter, Florida – April 8, 2015
In a lawsuit filed on May 18, a Jupiter teacher describes how the spare vaporizer battery he purchased from Coastline Vapor lit his pants on fire. He sustained severe leg burns, according to the complaint, and was forced to go to the hospital. The Palm Beach Post has a full summary of the lawsuit, although the battery’s manufacturer had not been identified at the time of publication.
Santa Ana, California – March 9, 2015
A 29-year-old man suffered minor burns when his e-cigarette, which has been described as “modified,” exploded in his hands. Prior to the incident, the man noticed his vaporizer had begun to make a humming sound. He brought the device to his face, which is when it exploded with such force that a portion of device shot up and lodged in the ceiling. He told reporters at ABC 7 that he had just swapped out an old battery for a recently-charged one before the explosion.
Gates, New York – March 2015
ABC 7 reports that a man’s electronic cigarette battery overheated at his Gates home, sending the unit’s end cap shooting across the room and starting a fire. Metal shrapnel from the battery cut the man’s hand.
ABC 7 says that the man was using a nickel cadmium battery, not a lithium-ion battery.
Orange, California – February 23, 2015
Former LA Galaxy and US Olympics team soccer star Danny Califf was severely injured by an e-cig that exploded only six months after he’d purchased it. But the device didn’t seem to be working, so he brought it up to his face to see if it was making the hissing sound that many e-cigs do during normal operation. That’s when it exploded, shooting components at his face.
The electronic cigarette’s mouth piece blew a hole through Califf’s cheeks, according to the lawsuit he eventually filed against the e-cig’s manufacturer. Another component caught on fire, and the blaze soon spread to a curtain, blanket and chair nearby. After emergency treatment, the athlete was readmitted to the hospital and subsequently diagnosed with post-concussive syndrome. He suffers from nearly daily temporal headaches, the Daily Mail reports.
Anaheim, California – February 10, 2015
An Anaheim teenager was badly burned when the electronic cigarette he had been holding suddenly exploded. He was hospitalized shortly, NBC Los Angeles says, but recovering at home on the same night.
Yuba City, Arizona – February 2015
A long-time-smoker was sitting at home when his e-cigarette unexpectedly exploded, starting a small carpet fire that the man put out with his bare hands. Reports aren’t clear whether or not the e-cig was charging at the time. Packaging inspected by reporters at Fox 40 displayed “nowhere [for an injured user] to call, and doesn’t even say where [the e-cig] was made. No trademark of any kind.”
New Jersey – February 2015
A 30-year-old man suffered severe burns to 8% of his body when an electronic cigarette battery exploded in his pocket at a rock concert. A report on the incident was published by emergency room doctors from Camden’s Cooper University Hospital in the American Journal of Medical Case Reports.
Ramona, California – February 8, 2015
A man shopping at Ramona’s Stage Stop Liquor Store noticed that his e-cigarette was heating up before it exploded, burning his face and hands, shattering a glass display in the store and injuring an employee, a San Diego Fox affiliate reports.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada – January 23, 2015
e-cigarette-forum.com member Nisstyre says they were riding a Toronto street car when the mechanical mod vaporizer in their pocket began overheating. Nisstyre quickly asked for the street car to stop and jumped off. After turning their pants pocket inside out, the vaper found that their mod, a Stingray X using a Sony VTC 5 battery, had begun “POURING out smoke.” They threw the device down an alley and, several minutes later, it exploded.
Oak Ridge, Tennessee – January 14, 2015
A charging e-cigarette exploded early on a Wednesday morning in Tennessee, starting a small house fire that was quickly extinguished by the owner. A local CBS affiliate has more information.
Sparks, Nevada – January 12, 2015
USA Today reports on an electronic cigarette explosion that broke out during a student assembly in the gymnasium of a Nevada high school, spurring a school-wide lockdown and partial evacuation of the facility. The fire was “small,” according to school district spokesperson Victoria Campbell, and seemed to occur shortly after two students had begun “messing with the e-cigarette.”
Faversham, England – January 9, 2015
A young father sustained burns on his hands after he plugged an e-cig into the wrong charger in Faversham. The battery shot flames clear across the room, he told reporters at the Canterbury Times, setting his child’s bed on fire.
Los Angeles, California – January 4, 2015
At Los Angeles’ International Airport (LAX), a checked bag caught on fire in the baggage area. EMS determined that the fire had been started by an “over-heated e-cigarette,” the Transportation Department reports.
US Department of Transportation seconds ICAO recommendation in a safety alert intended for air carriers on January 22, 2015, saying that the “carriage of e-cigarettes in the passenger cabin addresses this safety risk by ensuring that if an incident does occur, it can be immediately identified and mitigated. While e-cigarettes were not officially included in any FAA regulations at the time, the agency noted regulations prohibiting battery-powered devices “likely to create sparks or generate a dangerous evolution of heat[,] unless they are packaged in such a manner to preclude such an occurrence.”
Sheerness, Kent, England – December 2014
Kent Online ran the story of a Sheerness family whose Christmas presents were set ablaze after an e-cigarette was plugged into the wrong charger. The e-cig exploded only 10 minutes after being plugged in, residents said. 80% of the room’s contents were lost.
Wigan, Greater Manchester, England – December 2014
A UK man was charging his wife’s e-cigarette when the device exploded, shooting upwards and starting a small fire that burnt the home’s wood flooring, Wigan Today reports.
Tacoma, Washington – November 11, 2014
Firefighters responded to a major house fire in Tacoma around 4 in the afternoon, finding two of the house’s occupants had already climbed to safety onto the roof. A third man, suffering from severe burns and smoke inhalation, was pulled from the fire, which a resident said had started after an e-cigarette had exploded during use. Local news outlet KOMO News has more on the story.
Birches Head, Stoke-On-Trent, England – November 7, 2014
The Stoke Sentinel reports that a couple escaped from the house fire started by a charging e-cigarette by climbing through their bedroom window. Despite efforts to rescue the pet, the family’s dog was killed after losing consciousness due to smoke inhalation.
Rotherham, Yorkshire, England – November 7, 2014
A van burst into flames after an e-cigarette that had been left charging on the vehicle’s seat exploded. The car, owned by a kitchen renovator, had been parked outside of a client’s house and the blaze was so extreme that the heat melted the house’s door, according to the Daily Mail.
Isle Of Wight, England – November 2014
An English couple’s e-cig charger exploded after it had been plugged into a wall outlet, spreading flames across a room of their house. They were able to safely extinguish the fires. The couple had been using a charger not designed for use with their electronic cigarette, the Daily Echo reports.
Sprowston, Norfolk, England – October 18, 2014
A charging electronic cigarette burst into flames in a Norfolk family’s home, shooting fire from a wall outlet and nearly setting a one-year-old child on fire. By chance, a table stood between the toddler and the e-cig battery, absorbing the brunt of the blaze. More reporting at the Mirror.
Wigan, Greater Manchester, England – October 2014
After his electronic cigarette began overheating, a UK man dropped the device, only to sustain severe leg injuries after the e-cig exploded and shot shrapnel throughout the room. The resultant blast started a fire. The 48-year-old victim, whose injuries have been likened to “bullet wounds” the Mirror reports, limped to a neighbor’s house, losing a liter of blood in the process. He spent nine days in the hospital. His doctors expect that skin graft surgeries will occupy the next three years of the man’s life.
London, England – October 14, 2014
The Evening Standard reports on a fire that began in the administrative office of a south London school. Investigators concluded that the blaze had been caused by an electronic cigarette that was being charged with the wrong adapter. About 320 staff members and students were evacuated. No one was injured.
Ely, Cardiff, Wales – October 6, 2014
A mother of two narrowly escaped death when her e-cigarette, plugged into an extension cord, exploded as she was eating. The fire completely destroyed her home of 28 years, says Wales Online.
Honolulu, Hawaii – September 28, 2014
A Honolulu woman left her e-cig charging when she went out to run errands and returned to find her kitchen counter on fire. At the time, local news outlet Hawaii News Now inaccurately reported that around ten e-cig explosions and fires had been documented world-wide.
Limoges, France- September 6, 2014
A 64-year-old woman endured her second e-cig explosion, suffering second- and third-degree burns when the device’s battery exploded in her pants pocket. LaDepeche reports that her doctors were considering a skin graft at the time.
Arlington, Texas – August 2014
A former Marine is suing Texas vape shop Vixen Vapors after an e-cigarette battery he had purchased there exploded in his pants pocket, resulting in severe burns to his thighs and scrotum. Local CBS affiliate DFW reports that the man’s attorneys have been able to track the battery manufacturer to a company in China.
Boston, Massachusetts – August 9, 2014
At Boston’s Logan Airport, an aircraft was evacuated prior to take-off after a passenger’s e-cigarette, stored in the plane’s cargo hold, caused a fire.
Three months later, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) released a bulletin advising passengers to keep their electronic cigarettes in carry-on luggage, rather than checking the devices.
San Antonio, Texas – August 2014
According to user smokecignals on Reddit, an audience member at a vaping competition in San Antonio dropped his e-cig, which had begun heating up in his pocket, and the device exploded “like a bottle rocket,” shooting components into the ceiling. Shrapnel was shot into the crowd and the burning e-cig “melted part of the floor.”
Groveland, Florida – August 2014
A woman in Groveland says her sister’s e-cigarette exploded while it was charging, setting fire to a carpet where the device ultimately landed. She showed reporters from WFTV9 the charred remains of the battery, saying, “there’s no warnings on there. The only instructions are how to put it together to smoke it.”
Wallasey, Merseyside, England – August 2014
A 62-year-old man was discovered dead in the living room of his UK home. The fire that apparently led to his passing had gone out before emergency personnel arrived. Investigators led by Myles Platt believe that an electronic cigarette, possibly plugged into an incompatible charger, had exploded in the house, igniting an oxygen tank. While the International Business Times suggested that this was the first UK fatality to occur as a “direct result of an e-cigarette exploding,” an elderly woman in Derbyshire had died in a fire started by an exploding e-cig the previous year.
Marsden, West Yorkshire, England – July 22, 2014
A 50-year-old woman’s e-cigarette exploded on her kitchen counter as it was charging, according to the Huddersfield Daily Examiner. She told the local paper that her device had been “a proper machine and not a cheap one off the internet.”
Ringwood, Hampshire, England – July 14, 2014
An electronic cigarette explosion ignited a nearby air horn canister, gutting a bedroom in Ringwood. Fire officials found an off-brand USB charger plugged into a wall outlet at the home, the BBC says.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – July 3, 2014
A fire broke out in an Oklahoma City family’s home at 2 in the morning when an e-cig charger unexpectedly exploded, reports local news station News 9. A bedroom caught fire, but the family was able to escape in time.
Leigh, Greater Manchester, England – June 2014
A family’s home was utterly destroyed after a charging electronic cigarette exploded, breaking every window of a bedroom and even blowing a door off its hinges. Her neighbor’s cat, who had been in the house at the time, was killed in the fire. The family escaped disaster, but has been left homeless. Pictures of their gutted home are available at the Daily Mail.
Tenby, Wales – May 20, 2014
A 22-year-old sustained burns to her legs after an electronic cigarette, left charging overnight, exploded while she slept. The device has been described as an eGo e-cig and was being charged in a laptop’s USB port at the time, Wales Online reports.
Heathway, Solihull, England – May 2014
A young mother was forced to grab her two sons and rush from the house after the flames erupting from an e-cigarette came to engulf her Solihull home. The device had been charging on the 22-year-old’s bedside table, for around 40 minutes she told the Birmingham Mail, when it caught fire. Her bedroom was gutted and the rest of the house left badly damaged.
Her e-cig was manufactured by E-Lites, a European brand that makes some vape-pen models for industry giant Logic. She had been using an iPhone USB cord to connect the e-cig’s charter to a power supply.
Leicester, England – April 2014
A 54-year-old woman opened the door of her car to find the cab filling with black smoke, after an e-cigarette that had been charging for around 20 minutes exploded. She ran into her house, grabbed a bowl of water and extinguished the flames within minutes.
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service official Dave Watson told the BBC that her e-cig’s battery appeared to have “no safety cut-off mechanism, which prevents them from over heating during charging – causing the battery to overheat and explode.” Reporters note that the woman’s car charger and e-cig battery had been manufactured by two different brands.
London, England – April 2014
An e-cigarette, plugged into an “incompatible” charger, exploded in an apartment in the London suburb of Barking, causing a major fire. It took multiple fire crews around 40 minutes to control the blaze. London’s Fire Brigade soon issued a public safety alert, and fire official Charlie Pugsley called on retailers “to ensure they are selling the correct chargers for the cigarettes.” One victim, a resident of the flat, was taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation and shock, according to the Evening Standard.
Manchester, England – April 13, 2014
A hospital patient in Manchester suffered severe burns to her scalp and face after the oxygen supply she had been using caught fire. At the time, investigators were attempting to determine whether the e-cigarette found beside her had begun the blaze. A cigarette lighter was also found in her room, but reports from the Sun suggest that investigators were leaning toward the e-cig as the fire’s cause.
Richmond, North Yorkshire, England – April 5, 2014
An 18-year-old bartender was lit on fire when an e-cig charging under the bar suddenly exploded. The battery shot out at her, burning her arms, until it sizzled out on the bar’s vinyl flooring. A customer was hit by one of the device’s components, as well, which left a red welt on his stomach, The York Press reports.
Syracuse, New York – March 2014
A patient at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center suffered first- and second-degree burns on her face after an oxygen tank she was using ignited. Associated Press reported on the accident a month later, but fire officials had not yet linked the fire conclusively to the e-cigarette the patient was using at the time of the accident. The hospital had recently reintroduced a ban on electronic cigarettes within its facilities.
Lompac, California – March 2014
An e-cigarette explosion started a fire in the kitchen of a Lompac home while the device was charging unattended. The story was reported by news station KSBY, but has since been removed from their website.
Abertillery, Monmouthshire, South Wales – February 2014
Two days after purchasing a new e-cigarette battery, a 34-year-old was shocked to see the device catch fire only two minutes after being plugged into his laptop. The man’s nephew, a 14-year-old boy, was “scorched” on his arm, the man told the South Wales Argus, as the e-cig spurted “two feet” flames from its broken casing.
Poole, UK – February 19, 2014
More than 40 firefighters were occupied in controlling a blaze that began after a charging e-cigarette exploded in a Poole apartment complex. 30 occupants were evacuated, the BBC writes.
Colorado – February 17, 2014
A charging KGO-brand e-cig battery exploded, starting a fire in e-cigarette-forum.com user Fisheeboy‘s bedroom.
Leicester, UK – February 11, 2014
A man in Leicester says he was outside cleaning a chicken coop when his fire alarm alerted him to a blaze raging in his bedroom. Fire officials later determined that one of the man’s E-Shisha vape pens, which he had purchased on eBay, had exploded. The man says the e-cig was not charging at the time, according to the Leicester Mercury.
Neath, Wales – February 2014
A charging e-cig exploded in Neath, starting a fire that caused heavy property damage in the device owner’s kitchen. UK media outlet the Mirror reports.
Medford, Oregon – February 2014
The Associated Press reported on an accident in Oregon, in which a charging e-cigarette blew up, shooting pieces of the burning battery flying across a room. One piece of the device landed on a pillow, causing a small fire that filled the house with smoke.
Local Fire Marshal Greg Kleinberg told reporters it was the second fire in Medford attributed to an e-cig explosion in recent days.
Birmingham, England – February 2, 2014
In Birmingham, a 43-year-old woman’s KangerTech Protank 3 vaporizer exploded only 90 minutes into its first charge, burning through a carpet. No one was injured in the fire. The e-cig was plugged into a desktop computer at the time, as evidenced by a photograph run in the Birmingham Mail. The woman says she purchased the device from a man she met in a pub.
Norway – January 20, 2014
Frankster79, a user on e-cigarette-forum.com, says that an e-cig battery exploded in his shirt pocket while he was at work. He reports using the device between five and ten minutes prior to the explosion. He did not sustain any injuries. The Ego Spinner battery was “no older than 6 months,” he writes.
Springfield, Missouri – January 2014
A man had just laid in bed with his wife when the electronic cigarette charging in his laptop caught on fire. He explained the explosion, according to Mother Jones, as “a searing hot blinding light like a magnesium sparkler,” similar to the sparks shot off by a welder. He says the fire burned his bed, leading to second-degree burns on his leg.
The story, reported by KY3, is no longer available on the news outlet’s website.
Sneads Ferry, North Carolina – December 2013
A 54-year-old man was temporarily blinded after an e-cig exploded in his face, pouring eLiquid into his eyes. In an interview with the Jacksonville Daily News, the former firefighter likened the incident to having “a bunch of hot oil hit [his] face.” He was discharged after a night at the hospital, but told reporters that his eyes are still sensitive to light. At the time, he had no plan to consult an attorney unless the damage was judged to be permanent.
Edinburgh, Scotland – December 17, 2013
At a government administrative building in Edinburgh, an employee’s e-cigarette, charging in a laptop’s USB port, exploded, sending the device flying into a wall and starting a fire. The e-cig’s owner stamped out the flames quickly in front of her bewildered coworkers. Administrators at the building had already banned the practice of charging e-cigs using computers, the Edinburgh Evening News reports.
Salt Lake City, Utah – December 9, 2013
Salt Lake City fire officials responded to a house fire reportedly caused by a firecracker, only to learn after investigating that the homeowner’s electronic cigarette had exploded, launching into a bag of dog food and starting the blaze. A report from Fox 13 Now suggests that the e-cig had been plugged into a computer at the time.
Batley, West Yorkshire, England – December 2013
Near Leeds, an exploding e-cigarette battery scorched the walls, floors and furniture in a small home. During their investigation, fire officials determined that the e-cig had been purchased about a week prior to the explosion, and charged twice using a wall socket, before a third charging session, this time using a laptop’s USB port, caused the explosion. Sean Fearon, lead investigator on the case, told reporters at the the Huddersfield Daily Examiner that the e-cig’s owner, who was not injured, had been using the device according to its manufacturer instructions.
Queen Creek, Arizona – November 2013
Four days after he purchased the Gladiator e-cigarette from Scottsdale-based vape manufacturer Crown 7, a young man from Queen Creek says it exploded during a charge. “It shot out like a bullet, hit the window, dropped from the window to the carpet. Caught the carpet on fire,” he later told Arizona’s 3 On Your Side news station. He extinguished the fire with a glass of water.
The teenager sent photos of the damage to his home, and the e-cig battery that exploded, to Crown 7’s president, Ron MacDonald. MacDonald responded, telling the young man that neither the battery implicated nor the charger he had been using were Crown 7 products. 3 On Your Side’s reporters examined the photos, comparing the teen’s charger to the product that comes packaged with the Gladiator e-cig, and determining that they are not the same size.
3 On Your Side has taken down its story, but a copy is hosted at e-cig-news.com.
Colorado Springs, Colorado – November 2013
While playing video games in the basement of his house, a young man in Colorado Springs told local news station KRDO he heard a loud noise from his bedroom upstairs. When he went up to check, he found his bed on fire. After smothering the blaze with a blanket, sustaining burns on his hands, arms and face in the process, he discovered an exploded electronic cigarette battery on the floor. “It didn’t stop charging,” he said to KRDO’s reporters, “it’s like when you keep filling up a gas tank, it just kept going.”
KRDO contacted the e-cig’s manufacturer, a Missouri-based company named FOOS Industries, for comment. In an email, the company’s owner William Foos wrote:
“We are Combat Veteran owned company and take the quality of our products very seriously and our products are manufactured with every measure of safety.”
Foos agreed to pay for the young man’s damages “if all experts agreed” that his product had caused the fire. As of April 16, 2016, FOOS Industries is “permanently shut down,” according to the company’s Facebook page.
Eugene, Oregon – November 11, 2013
After being left to charge for around two hours in its user’s car, an e-cigarette exploded, sending shrapnel shooting into the vehicle’s backseat. The truck’s stereo system and interior were badly damaged, according to Eugene’s CBS affiliate KVAL. The e-cig’s owner, a grandmother, told reporters, “I’m just glad my grandkids weren’t in the backseat because it could have exploded at any time.”
Warren, Michigan – November 2013
A caretaker for the elderly was shocked to discover that the “gunshot” she heard in an adjacent room of her home was, in fact, the result of her electronic cigarette, which had blown out of the electrical socket in which it had been charging. “It was just a rolling ball of fire,” she told Detroit ABC station WXYZ, a blaze that seared the hardwood floor. She was able to extinguish the fire on her own, and did not contact the local fire department.
The woman’s e-cig was manufactured by Bull Dog Electronic Cigarettes, a company based in Troy, Michigan. In a statement released the Thursday after the incident, Bull Dog wrote:
“We just learned of the incident this morning and therefore we have been unable to conduct an investigation into the underlying facts and circumstances. Bulldog Wholesale has been selling its products for 7-years, and there has likely been millions of puffs on the e-cigarettes. We stand behind our product and this is the first reported incident of an alleged malfunction.”
Bull Dog says that it advises customers to use only its own chargers, although it is unclear whether or not the woman was using a third-party charger at the time of the explosion.
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho – November 3, 2013
An Idaho family woke in the middle of the night to the sound of a fire alarm, according to NBC affiliate KHQ 6, eventually discovering a blaze consuming their living room. The residents were able to put the fire out with an extinguisher and everyone escaped safely. Firefighters soon arrived, but were confounded as to the fire’s cause, until their investigation came to focus on an electronic cigarette that had been plugged into a laptop in the living room.
Phoenix, Arizona – October 16, 2013
A Vietnam Veteran and his wife tell reporters at Arizona’s CBS 5 that two electronic cigarettes, both “Smokin T” e-cigs manufactured by the San Diego-based company Smokin Time, caught on fire within a matter of days. Both fires were in the couple’s bedroom, although the first caused only minimal damage to the room’s carpet.
The second fire, which occurred on October 16th, was massive, they told CBS 5. The couple made it safely outside, and used a hose to spray water through a window into the bedroom. Realizing that one of their dogs was unaccounted for, the man rushed back into the house. He “got halfway to the TV and it was four-foot of flames, four-foot of black smoke.” After locating their pet, he rushed out to safety.
The man spent three days at a burn center being treated for smoke inhalation. Their bedroom was “gutted” and the house sustained significant smoke and water damage. In both cases, the couple said that the e-cigarettes had only been charging for around 20 minutes before the devices exploded. A captain at the Phoenix Fire Department told CBS 5 that an investigation’s “preliminary findings show all evidence and burn patterns [at the home] point to a malfunction or flaw in an electronic cigarette.”
Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England – October 13, 2013
A 68-year-old nursing home resident suffered fatal injuries in England when her electronic cigarette battery caught on fire, in turn igniting an aerosol container that exploded. Firefighters were able to pull the woman from the blaze, the Derbyshire Times reports, but she later died in the hospital.
Valparaiso, Florida – October 2013
In Northwest Florida, an e-cig plugged into a laptop’s USB port exploded after 10 minutes of charging, igniting a set of window curtains.
Blaine, Minnesota – October 2, 2013
An e-cig plugged into the USB port of a laptop exploded in Blaine, shooting fire like a sparkler before it flew across a couple’s room “like a missile,” according to reports initially run by Twin Cities news outlet Fox 9. No one was injured.
Mike Swafford, owner of the E-Cig Clubhouse in nearby Ham Lake, told Fox 9’s reporters that he heard about an e-cigarette exploding about “two to three times a week.”
La Crosse, Wisconsin – October 2013
Firefighters in La Crosse were alerted to the aftermath of a house fire in early October 2013, finding a carpet blackened by burn marks in the living room. Residents reported hearing a loud popping noise in the room, according to Wisconsin’s News 8. When they entered, a fire was burning 25 feet away from where the e-cigarette had been plugged into a wall outlet.
Craig Snyder, chief of La Crosse’s fire division, offered a succinct explanation:
“Those lithium-ion batteries don’t have an overcurrent protection to them, so they continue to draw on that heat until the coil overheats and the lithium-ion actually explodes in the unit.”
Snyder told reporters that he’d responded to other similar incidents in the area, all of which had occurred while an e-cig was charging.
Darlington, England – October 1, 2013
A 37-year-old mother was awakened at 2:30 am by the smell of smoke after a charging e-cigarette in her kitchen suddenly exploded. The device flew into a dog bed on the kitchen floor, igniting both the bed and a plastic basket nearby. The woman escaped the house, along with her husband and children who had been sleeping upstairs. The e-cig was manufactured by a company called Bellos, the Northern Echo reports.
Maesycwmmer, South Wales – September 24, 2013
The Daily Mail reports on the story of a 37-year-old man who says his Vapouriz UK brand e-cigarette exploded in a car changer. The man told reporters that the charging e-cig had shot “like a firework” into his back seat, igniting the vehicle’s upholstery. He had left the device charging overnight.
A vehicle engineer himself, the man says he was wakened by the sound of his car alarm early on Tuesday morning. When he checked, nothing seemed wrong, so he turned off the car alarm and went back to sleep. Around an hour later, he returned to his car, only to find that the interior had been charred black. Incredibly, the man claims to have purchased two cheaper e-cigs, both of which “blew up a USB drive,” before he bought the Vapouriz UK unit. Vapouriz UK’s website advises customers not to leave the device’s charging unattended.
Provo, Utah – September 20, 2013
As she was driving, a mother from Mount Pleasant, Utah noticed a strange smell inside the car. Moments later “there was a big bang,” she told Fox 13 Salt Lake City, a “kind of flash, and there’s smoke everywhere.” Her e-cigarette, plugged into the car charger, had exploded, sending a searing copper coil flying into her three-year-old son’s car seat. The coil “burned through the fabric cover and melted the hard plastic,” she says, igniting her child in flames. She tried to extinguish the fire with her shirt, but the sleeve caught fire itself, so she grabbed an iced coffee and doused the flames.
The child was left with first- and second-degree burns. In the course of investigations, Lynn Schofield, fire marshal for Provo, became convinced that the woman’s White Rhino brand e-cigarette had caused the explosion. “It was a catastrophic failure of the device,” he told Fox 13, “and fortunately only minor burns, but painful burns” were the result.
Vernon, Connecticut – September 10, 2013
e-cigarette-forum.com user smillet_vox describes leaving their house with a pouch of e-cigarette supplies, including several batteries. In the car, an extra Panasonic CGR18650CH battery exploded. The pouch also contained a stash of coins. Owners of lithium-ion batteries are advised to keep their units away from other metal products.
Grant Park, Georgia – September 2013
An e-cigarette, plugged into a laptop, exploded suddenly, sending flames shooting across its owner’s living room in the historic Atlanta neighborhood of Grant Park. Afterward, reporters from Atlanta’s WSB-TV described seeing “a scorch mark on the couch, a hole burned in the rug and the charred remains of [a] cleaning rag,” which the homeowner had used to protect her hand as she unplugged the flaming device.
The e-cig’s brand name was reported as “E-Hit.” The vape shop where the woman purchased her device told reporters that they no longer carried E-Hit products. Little information about the company can be found, although several online stores that used to sell the products, no longer do.
Binghamton, New York – August 27, 2013
In Southern New York, fire marshals attributed a house fire to an exploding electronic cigarette, local news station WBNG reported. Officials blamed the fire, which was extinguished in about 15 minutes, on the failure of the e-cig’s battery. The device was charging at the time of the explosion. The house’s single occupant was able to escape in time. No injuries were reported, although the building was left with smoke and water damage.
Phoenix, Arizona – August 2013
A “Smokin’ T” e-cigarette exploded in a Phoenix apartment, causing a small carpet fire that was extinguished by the property’s owner. No injuries were reported.
Cardiff, Wales – August 16, 2013
On e-cigarette-forum.com, user Jessyhall79 warns owners of the Gemini e-cig manufactured by Vapouriz that two of the company’s devices fit the same charger “perfectly,” but only one is actually designed to be used with that charger. Apparently, the user plugged the wrong device into their Vapouriz-made charger, causing an explosion. Pictures posted along with the user’s report show fire damage surrounding a charred wall outlet. Jessyhall79 says they contacted the manufacturer, but their complaint was met with hostility.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – August 2013
Around fifteen minutes after she plugged her new e-cig into a wall outlet, a woman from Oklahoma City says that the device shot out, singing the wall and her carpet. She told reporters at NBC affiliate KFOR that the explosion started three simultaneous fires, “big” ones, “not like just a match fire.” The woman says that the retailer where she purchased the electronic cigarette informed her that any charger would do. Needless to say, that’s not the case.
Portland, Oregon – July 8, 2013
Fill Collins, a member on e-cigarette-forum.com, says his self-constructed box mod vaporizer blew up. The user admits not knowing “a lot about” electricity or batteries, and the explosion appears to bear all the signs of user error.
Tulsa, Oklahoma – June 2013
A Tulsa man had his e-cigarette plugged into his laptop, “charging it like always,” he would later say, when the device suddenly burst into flames. Washing dishes at the time, the man told Oklahoma’s NewsOn6 that he saw “a huge flash out of the corner of his eye.” He turned, only to find that “everything was on fire,” including the laptop, a lamp and his window shades. Fire officials were called and the fire was quickly extinguished.
He asked Camoland, a vape retailer in Tulsa, to refund his purchase, but the shop says that it is not liable for a device after its sale. The business told NewsOn6 that it warns customers about the risks associated with not using a wall adapter to charge an e-cig battery.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – April 16, 2013
A hazmat unit was dispatched to an apartment complex on Oklahoma City’s Knight Lake Drive after reports of an explosion. Police established that the explosion had been caused by “a lithium battery inside of an e-cigarette,” KOCO.com reported. Apparently, the e-cig had been charging under a desk in the apartment building’s front office. An employee of the complex, who had “inhaled some fumes” was taken to the hospital, but said to be in good condition.
Glendale, Arizona – April 24, 2013
An unattended e-cig suddenly exploded after its owner left the device charging in their car. Burning fragments of the electronic cigarette’s charger flew into the back seat, lighting the vehicle on fire, according to statements from the Glendale Fire Department related to a local CBS affiliate. The fire was extinguished immediately, but the vehicle sustained significant damage.
Corona, California – March 2013
In Southern California, a woman suffered second-degree burns on her upper thighs and buttocks when the electronic cigarette plugged into her car charger caught on fire and exploded. Prior to the explosion, she says the device began emitting a smell like nail polish. When she looked around, she saw that her fluid from the e-cig’s battery had begun looking. When she went to unscrew the device, the battery shot out a “blowtorch type” of fire, according to CBS Los Angeles, then exploded. She told reporters that “metal pieces” of the e-cigarette shot onto her lap, igniting her dress. Her husband, driving at the time, pulled into the emergency lane and doused the fire in iced coffee.
The woman subsequently filed suit against the e-cig’s manufacturer, a Corona-based company called VapCigs, as well as the product’s distributor, Cartons 2 Go, and the local retailer where she had purchased the device. Her lawsuit was filed in July 2013 in the Riverside County Superior Court. On September 30, 2015, a jury for the state court found all three businesses liable for the woman’s injuries, awarding her $1.9 million.
This has been widely cited as the first lawsuit to reach trial in the wake of an e-cigarette explosion.
Sherman, Texas – October 2012
A Texas man sustained second- and third-degree burns when his electronic cigarette, about two hours into a charge, caught on fire and exploded. The e-cig was plugged into the USB port of the man’s Macbook laptop, before it suddenly exploded in his hand and “shot across the room like a Roman candle,” he would later tell reporters.
Eight months after the accident, when the story was first reported by CBS affiliate KXII, the man said he still had numbness in his affected fingers. Both he and his wife have been treated for smoke inhalation. Of the device, he said:
“There wasn’t anything that said how long to charge it. There wasn’t any warnings. It’s marketed as a safe, good product. And the reason we bought the one we did is it was one of the best ones on the market and it was U.S. made.”
The man contacted the electronic cigarette’s manufacturer, as well as its retailer, but had “no luck,” according to KXII. Pressed for comment by reporters, the e-cig’s manufacturer said that their attorneys were “looking into the matter,” claiming that several copycat versions of their own product had recently entered the market.
Location Unknown – September 5, 2012
Chillywilly, a user on e-cigarette-forum.com, says they plugged in a “standard battery” manufactured by V2 and then began to smell a strange odor. The battery’s charging light turned off, started to glow orange and finally caught on fire. Pictures examined by ecigone.com show no V2 logo on the user’s battery.
Muskogee, Oklahoma – April 2012
A OneJoy e-cigarette manufactured by NJOY exploded as it was being unwrapped from its factory packaging in Oklahoma. The woman who had purchased the product said that the explosion was so strong that it knocked over a 15-pound lamp, as well as a piece of art on the room’s opposite wall. An archived version of the original story, reported by Fox 23, is available here.
Arizona – February 28, 2012
e-cigarette-forum.com user Janusxvii describes the moment that their Ego-T electronic cigarette exploded at work. The user says their e-cig was “a legitimate Joyetech ego-t,” but that they had been using a “no-name brand charger” plugged into a laptop at the time of the explosion. No injuries or property damage, other than the destroyed e-cig, are mentioned. In later posts, Janusxvii says that the charger was designed to provide 5 volts to a device, while the Ego-T itself was designed to receive only 4.2 volts.
Niceville, Florida – February 13, 2012
One hour east of Pensacola, a 57-year-old Vietnam Veteran and father of three sustained severe burns when his electronic cigarette exploded in his face, knocking out all of his teeth and severing part of his tongue. The explosion started a fire in the study of his home. His wife, in the next room, later told reporters that the explosion sounded like a firecracker.
North Bay Fire District Chief Butch Parker, who responded to the call, told ABCNews.com that “a faulty battery inside the electronic cigarette likely caused the accident.” While the e-cig’s brand could not be determined, Parker said that a recharging station found in the study indicated a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
Several subsequent media reports have suggested that the man had modified his electronic cigarette in some way.
Greeley, Colorado – January 15, 2012
A man sustained severe injuries when a Prodigy V3.1 mechanical mod e-cig exploded in his face, shooting “burning debris and battery acid into his mouth, face, and eyes.” He spent 8 days in the hospital, and subsequently filed suit (PDF) against the online store, puresmoker.com, where he purchased the mod in the US District Court of Colorado on April 13, 2012. Ignition L.P., a subsidiary of Radioshack that had designed and manufactured the lithium-ion battery implicated as the explosion’s cause, was named as a second defendant.
Settlement negotiations were entered soon after, according to a motion to dismiss (PDF) the case filed by the victim and his wife on July 25, 2012.
November 26, 2011 – Bristol, UK
User AlexS on e-cigarette-forum.com says he used the USB charger that came with his new “mini e-cig,” a vape manufactured by UK company Vapourlites, to charge a Totally Wicked Tornado battery. He left the battery charging overnight, but was woken around 6:30 in the morning by his fire alarm. He ran into his living room and found that the USB charger had caught on fire. The charger “melted” as soon as he entered the room, falling to the floor and igniting his carpet. He ran for water and put the blaze out.
Arizona – April 28, 2011
A user wrote about “the scare of [her] life” on e-cigarette-forum.com, saying, “I had starting recharging my eGo-T [vape pen] about 2 hrs earlier and was reading in the forum when the thing just went off like a rocket! There was a loud BANG and fire and sparks shot out of the end at least 2 feet. I am just glad that it was not pointed in my direction as my face was only about a foot and a half away.” The explosion, she writes, started a fire on her “cluttered desk” but she was able to extinguish it.
Minneapolis, Minnesota – August 14, 2009
Ruyan Inhaler, suspected cause of in-flight fire, photo by Federal Aviation Administration
The crew of a FedEx jet was alerted to a medium-sized fire in the plane’s lower cargo hold, mid-flight between Indianapolis and Minneapolis. After receiving an automated warning, the plane’s crew activated the fire suppression system and was met upon landing by an emergency fire rescue squad.
After unloading, investigators found the fire in one of the plane’s transportation containers, a shipment of Ruyan RappE-Mystick e-cigs, simple “cig-a-like” electronic cigarettes manufactured in China. The Ruyan e-cig is powered by a lithium-ion battery, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Electronic cigarettes are now prohibited in checked baggage.
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