A Massachusetts man claims his electronic cigarette “blew up” in his pocket, leaving his leg scorched with first and second-degree burns.
Tyler Newton, of Lunenburg, told WCVB-News his vaping device, which he was using as an alternative to smoking cigarettes, exploded while he was driving last week, causing a fire inside his vehicle.
“Three lithium batteries from my vape — my extra batteries — blew up in my pocket and lit on fire. It scorched my leg completely," Newton told the news station, adding the incident occurred as he was driving through a construction zone.
Luckily, he said, there was no oncoming traffic at the time.
“Otherwise I probably would have gone head-on with someone, because I went back and forth across the road like three or four times before finally getting the fire out and getting to the side of the road," Newton said.
Newton then went to a local hospital, where he spent four hours being treated for first and second-degree burns. He also suffered acid burns from the battery, he told WCVB-News.
Moving forward, Newton said he plans to “seek other alternatives to try to quit smoking,” as the experience has deterred him from using the electronic device.
Newton’s experience isn’t the first. In a July 2017 report, the U.S. Fire Administration said there were 195 separate cases of e-cigarette fire and explosions reported by news outlets in the country between 2009 and 2016 — 61 of which occurred while the device was in someone’s pocket.